Knowing what to do after an accident in a new car can help you file a convincing insurance claim, as well as a civil lawsuit if your personal injury lawyer determines you have a strong enough case to move forward with litigation. The first thing to do is to stop your vehicle and position it in a safe place away from traffic. You should never drive away from the scene of an auto collision, even if the crash appears to be minor.
Protect Yourself and Others
Moving your car to a safe location is just one way to protect yourself and others after a new car accident. You prevent further injuries and property damage by setting up flares around the perimeter of the accident scene. If you have stored a flashlight in your emergency kit, use it if the accident occurs at night.
Call Law Enforcement
Calling the nearest law enforcement agency accomplishes two things. First, law enforcement ensures the scene of the accident remains undisturbed. Second, law enforcement conducts a thorough investigation that eventually leads to the submission of an official police report. The report completed by law enforcement represents the most important document you file with an insurance claim.
Describe What Happened
One or more law enforcement officers conduct interviews with the parties involved in an auto collision, as well as witnesses that saw what unfolded before, during, and after the crash. When the time comes for you to describe what happened to a law enforcement officer, remember not to speculate or embellish on any of the facts pertaining to the accident. If you do not know all the facts, explain that to the law enforcement officer conducting your interview.
A forensic evidence specialist or one of the responding officers should take photos of the accident scene. However, you should use your phone to capture images of the accident scene as well. The submission of the formal police report might take weeks from the date of the collision, which means taking photos and storing them on your phone allows your personal injury attorney to get a head start on investigating your case.
The responding officer should obtain the names and contact information of every party involved in the new car accident. However, you should do the same that includes acquiring the names and contact information of the insurance companies representing the other parties. You should not contact any insurance company until you have spoken with a state-licensed personal injury lawyer.
Get Medical Care
If you sustained serious injuries, move this step to the top of the list. Otherwise, you should seek medical care at this point even if you feel healthy. Some symptoms of injuries do not develop until days or even weeks after a car accident. Examples of injuries that trigger delayed response symptoms include whiplash and concussion. Receiving medical care provides you with documentation of your injuries, which includes the results of diagnostic tests and the type of physical therapy that is required to return you to full health.
Contact a Personal Injury Attorney
Auto collisions involving a new vehicle introduce several complex legal issues a personal injury lawyer has to address. Determining the diminished value of your damaged vehicle is just one of the complex issues introduced for a new car accident case. You also get help filing the paperwork required by the insurance company reviewing your claim. If the other party committed one or more acts of negligence, your legal counsel might have enough evidence to file a civil lawsuit.
Calculate a Value for an Insurance Claim
You file an insurance claim for more than the repairs required to restore your motor vehicle. In addition, you also want to be compensated for costs associated with your medical care. Suffering serious injuries caused by a car accident can run your healthcare costs into thousands of dollars. If your legal counsel can establish fault, you might qualify for economic, non-economic, and/or punitive damages. Recovering from the financial losses produced by an auto collision is the most important goal achieved by the team of personal injury lawyers at Morgan & Morgan.