Understanding The Legal Process

Proactive Steps In Auto Accident Claims

by Eli Gregory

If you are involved in an auto accident, know that everything you do after that can affect your injury claim. Be proactive; take relevant steps to strengthen your claim and maximize your chances of full settlement. Don't sit back and assume you will get the compensation you deserve. Below are some proactive steps to take.

Approach Witnesses at the Accident Scene

If you can do so safely, approach potential witnesses at the accident scene. For example, you should not cross a dangerous highway to reach witnesses on the other side of the road. You should also not take steps that might worsen your injury.

If you can talk to witnesses safely, ask for their names and contacts. You can also use your phone to record short witnesses' statements. Use the contacts to follow up and get concrete testimony later.

Preserve Evidence

Take active steps to preserve evidence of your injuries, the other driver's liability, and accident occurrence. For example, you should:

  • Take pictures of the accident scene and damage
  • Note the time and date of the accident
  • Take the other driver's name, insurance details, and contact information

You can never have too much evidence, so the more pieces of evidence you can preserve, the better.

Call the Police If They Don't Show Up

Police officers often show up at accident scenes. However, the police might not show up if they don't know about the crash, if it is relatively minor, or if it occurs on private property. Call the police and let them decide what to do about your notification.

If the police do show up, cooperate with them and request a copy of their report. The police report can help you recall facts about the accident and convince the insurance company of the other driver's liability for the crash.

Know and Respect the Deadlines

Auto accident cases, just like other legal claims, follow certain legal processes, some of which have strict deadlines. For example, you have limited time to inform the insurance company about your accident. The statute of limitations also defines how long you have to file a lawsuit after the crash. Do everything necessary long before its deadline.

Consult an Injury Lawyer

Consult an auto accident lawyer even if you have not decided to file a claim. Maybe you don't know the true value of your damages, your settlement chances, or your case's strength. A peronal injury lawyer will evaluate the case and advise you on whether or not to file a claim. The lawyer will also help you get the compensation you deserve if they consider your case strong.