If you are in a car accident, it can be difficult to keep track of everything that needs to be done at the scene and afterwards. Obviously the first priority is to make sure that everyone is safe and/or gets necessary medical attention. After that, you'll need to exchange information with the other driver and get in touch with third parties, like the police. If the accident is severe enough that you need to pursue a personal injury suit, here are five things to remember.
Do Not Admit Fault
Some states, like Florida, are no-fault states, meaning that each driver's insurance will take care of a percentage regardless of who was at fault. But if you live in an at-fault state, you need to be very careful what you say. You may just be trying to be polite by apologizing, but if you take this case to court, then your words can be held against you. Be cooperative when talking with the police and the other driver(s), but try to distance yourself from emotions by just stating the facts as you know them. Even if you think you are at fault, there may be other circumstances that you are unaware of that would clear you of fault.
Document the Scene
While you'll want to have the police file a report, it's in your best interest to take some pictures of the damages, not only of your car, but of any injuries. These pictures don't have to be amazing photographs, you can even use your smartphone to snap some. The police report may not have every detail laid out, so photographic evidence will help you more should you decide to pursue a personal injury case.
Keep All of Your Doctor's Appointments
It doesn't make since for insurance companies to give compensation to those who don't need it. In short, if you aren't keeping your doctor's appointments, you probably don't need money for your injuries. Along with keeping your doctor's appointments, make sure you are following all of their care instructions and taking your prescriptions. If you have made your injury worse by neglecting your doctor's orders, this will not bode well for your case.
Let Your Attorney Do the Talking
The other driver's insurance company may get in touch with you. If you don't want to accidentally say anything that could work against you, have an auto accident attorney speak on your behalf. If you or a loved one is dealing with recovery, the last thing you want is a claims adjuster bothering you.
Do Not Post Details of Your Case on Facebook, Twitter, and Other Social Media
While your social media may have private settings, anything you say about your car accident or injuries can be held against you. If you are trying to make family members and friends not worry about you, you may understate your injuries. But again, like admitting fault or talking with an insurance company, your comments may get away from you.
For more tips on how to best handle your case, talk with your attorney. You can also find out more here.