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What to Do After a Car Accident

You may know what to do immediately after a car accident – call the police, provide information about what happened, and get to the hospital. But then what?

What happens once you are ready to pay your medical bills and repair your car? Knowing what to do in the days after a car accident can make a big difference in the compensation you receive.

An experienced car accident attorney will work with clients facing a wide range of losses after such an event. No matter what happened to you or why, contact a car accident attorney for the hands-on support you need to navigate what comes next. They can support you throughout this legal process and advise on your legal options.


Steps to Take After a Car Accident

If you have suffered an injury in a car accident that another person caused, there are several things you should (and a few you should not) do to protect yourself and ensure you receive fair compensation for your losses.

Call a Lawyer

You should always recognize what is on the line in a severe accident, which is not just a fender bender with minor injuries but a risk for significant losses, including medical bills, property damage, and long-term implications. You need an attorney to navigate the process.

Woman Calling a Vermont Car Accident Lawyer after a Car Accident

A lot is at stake due to your accident, and your attorney can determine:

  • Who is responsible for your losses: This might include the other car’s driver, the car’s owner, or other parties involved.
  • Your losses: This may consist of more than just your medical bills but also non-economic losses.
  • Your rights to compensation: This is often especially important when unsure if you have a case.

Hiring an attorney is one of the most important steps you can take because it ensures you get fair compensation for your losses. This process involves finding a car accident attorney with ample experience to guide you in maximizing your owed compensation. A compassionate and experienced car accident lawyer can do that for you.

Focus on Your Medical Treatment

Your priority throughout this process is dealing with your medical treatment and health needs. Get to the doctor and follow their recommendations to ensure you get the care and attention you need, including any therapy and rehabilitation.

If your doctor suggests that you seek care from a professional, do so and focus on your care and recovery. You do not want your health or your injuries to worsen because you did not follow your treatment plan.

File a Police Report

If you did not file a police report at the time of the accident, you should do so as soon as possible. A car accident attorney can assist with this process.

The goal of a police report is to document what happened and the facts of your case. In addition, your lawyer will work very closely with you to ensure you have all the information you need to report the accident right away.

You should only provide information for the car accident report or police report that is accurate and factual because you do not want incomplete or inaccurate information to work against you later. If you discover any inaccuracies in the report, your attorney can ensure you amend it properly.

Document Your Incident in Any Way You Can

Most car accident attorneys encourage you to write down or use a video to communicate what happened during the accident with us and any other interested party. Do this as soon as possible.

If you took photos at the accident scene or even a video of what occurred, it is a good idea to share those with the legal team. They can use the details to craft a strong case.

If you know of any witnesses who saw what happened or you learn of any added details as the case moves forward, communicate that information to your attorney. Their goal is always to provide you with all the tools and resources you need to build a strong case, but the more information you have, even small details that may seem insignificant, can make a big difference later.

Document Your Costs

You can use any cost incurred due to your accident as evidence to establish the compensation owed by the at-fault party. Keep your receipts and write down any details you can about any of your costs.

Here are a few things to consider, for example:

  • Prescription Expenses: These cover the cost of medications needed after the accident. The meds are crucial for pain management and treating injuries, and their expenses can add up over time.
  • Special Medical Equipment: This includes things like supportive chairs, mobility aids, wheelchairs, or bed support systems. They’re necessary for your comfort and recovery but come with hefty costs.
  • Hospital Incidentals: Beyond medical bills, being in the hospital raises costs for daily needs like food and parking. These seem small individually, but they add up significantly.
  • Vehicle Repair Costs: When your car sustains damage in an accident, obtaining repair quotes and restoring it to its pre-accident condition can often become financially burdensome.
  • Recovery Expenses: Post-accident recovery might involve ongoing expenses such as therapy sessions for physical and emotional healing or regular Uber rides if you can’t drive due to injuries. These costs pile up and impact your finances significantly after an accident.

Over time, this list is likely to grow. The more you document here, the better it is for us to show proof of your costs and how much your life has changed due to this accident.

Stay Off Social Media

Though you may have a lot of friends and family who hear about what happened to you and want to support you – and even when there is a lot of news or other parties involved – one thing is crucial to realize:

Adversaries can use social media against you in many ways. Insurance adjusters and attorneys representing the at-fault party seek out minor errors in your statements or the photos you share to demonstrate that you do not require or are entitled to compensation.

Social media can be a costly problem for many of today’s car accident victims. Avoid posting photos, making statements, or commenting on friends’ posts until you can work through this.

Do not post pictures of hanging out with friends or enjoying various activities when you are trying to showcase to the court that you are in chronic pain or cannot go back to work.

Again, allow a legal team to support you, and if you have any questions about social media use, please get in touch with your law firm. An attorney can help protect you.

Avoid Speaking to Insurance Adjusters

After a car accident, insurance adjusters for the at-fault driver may contact you. This tactic is not uncommon, and it often means they want to push along the payment to you quickly before your condition and claim increase.

Do not contact them, even if they seem friendly and willing to work closely with you to get the settlement in hand.

Insurance adjusters are tasked with settling your case quickly and for the least amount possible. They may try to convince you to accept less than you deserve in situations involving a claim with significant potential compensation.

There are many ways they may do this:

  • Try to get you to admit fault
  • Encourage you to settle fast, even pushing you with a timeline to respond
  • Denying your claims for some or all of your care
  • Limiting your ability to get the type of medical care you need
  • Tricking you into stating that you are okay

All of this can be frustrating and difficult to manage, particularly when you confront multiple health risks and face a long road to recovery. Therefore, avoiding discussions with the insurance adjusters is advisable.

Instead, allow your car accident attorney to handle it. They can deal with most of the adjuster’s questions, helping to create a level of protection between you and the adjuster while you continue focusing on your health and recovery.

Do Not Settle Your Case Without an Attorney

Taking photos of car accident scene

Insurance companies or other parties often approach you with an offer to settle your case. If you already have an attorney, they often attempt to persuade you to accept a settlement below what you deserve. In every case, you should rely on the advice and guidance of your attorney instead.

If someone presents you with a settlement offer, it might appear positive. Nevertheless, your attorney’s primary concern is that a settlement genuinely supports your recovery from this accident.

Remember that you suffered damage and changes to your life due to another person’s negligence. In simple terms, settling your case for less than the rightful amount isn’t advisable.

Unsure What Your Next Step Is?

When you are in a car accident, there are often many things you are thinking about and planning for. You may have found you cannot focus on work or struggle to get through the day. You are in pain, worried about your financial future, and having a hard time moving forward. You do not have to have all of the answers right now.

Count on a car accident attorney to support you throughout this challenging process. They’re committed to understanding and meeting your unique needs while relentlessly fighting for the compensation owed to you. Here are some of the valuable resources and tools a trusted firm can offer:

Determining your losses

One of your attorney’s abilities is to use experience and relationships with medical professionals to understand your losses, which often go beyond your medical bills.

They can determine how much this injury will impact your earning capacity, quality of life, and relationships. They can actively assist in understanding the modifications you may need to make or determining the appropriate compensation for your pain and suffering.

Determining who is at fault

Any expenses resulting from your accident can serve as evidence to establish the compensation owed by the at-fault party. In large-scale accidents, multiple parties may share responsibility.

For instance, a truck driver’s company might be at fault for failing to maintain the vehicle properly. In other cases, the city’s actions might have contributed to a hazardous accident risk. Your attorney should identify all involved parties, ensuring an understanding of the factors contributing to your accident.

Negotiate for you

They also work closely with clients when settlements from insurance companies come in. They aim to maximize your compensation, advocating and negotiating for the highest possible payout in your situation.

There is no reason to settle for less; your lawyer should ensure you receive the total and fair compensation you deserve and will go to court if that is the best decision for your case.

Turn to a Car Accident Attorney for Guidance Now

Connect with a car accident attorney today to gain comprehensive insights into your legal avenues. The right dedicated team should be committed to working closely alongside you, offering guidance on the necessary steps for fair and equitable compensation.

Time is of the essence, so don’t delay seeking assistance. Call a law firm near now for a complimentary consultation, where you’ll discuss your case’s specifics. Let them actively safeguard your case and secure your future.

During a consultation with a personal injury attorney, you can expect a thorough and supportive discussion focused on your case.

The attorney will:

  • Review the facts: Gather details about the accident, injuries, and damages to understand the case’s specifics.
  • Assess liability: Determine who is at fault and evaluate the strength of your case.
  • Discuss legal options: Explain the potential legal avenues available to pursue compensation, whether through insurance claims or legal action.
  • Address concerns: Answer any questions you may have about the legal process, timelines, and potential outcomes.
  • Explain fees and costs: Discuss the attorney’s fees, payment structure, and any associated costs for handling your case.

A consultation is an opportunity to gain insight into your case’s viability and decide if the attorney is the right fit for your needs. Contact a trusted law firm near you today.

Michael J. Sabbeth, Esquire, Attorney for Car Accident
Michael J. Sabbeth, Esq,
Car Accident Lawyer