If you are involved in a motor vehicle accident there are important steps that you must take in order to protect yourself. Remembering to take the following steps when you’re involved in a car or truck accident will have a substantial effect on the outcome of your personal injury claim.

1) Contact the Police and/or File a Police Report

If possible, contact the police immediately. Their presence at the accident scene can help ensure that you have records of important information for your personal injury claim. This may include the names and contact information of other parties that were involved. Also, the report itself can serve as a record of the important facts involved in the accident. The police report can be used as evidence at the time of trial to assist in the determination of which party caused the collision.
If you are unable to contact the police at the time of the accident it is important that you contact them as soon as possible thereafter so they can write a report.

2) Get Medical Treatment

If you’ve been injured as a result of someone else’s negligence, you must seek medical treatment. You should be aware that failing to seek medical attention after an accident can sometimes reduce the amount of damages you are able to recover. Therefore, after a car accident it is important to call your doctor, go to the emergency department of a local hospital or go to an urgent care so a medical professional can assess your injuries.

3) Statements at the Scene of the Crash

You are not required to comment on whose fault the accident and/or injury was or to offer additional information. Avoid making statements that might make the situation more complicated, and avoid creating conflicts in relation to the event.

4) Keep Copies of Your Records and Be Prepared to Provide Copies to Your Personal Injury Attorney

Make sure to keep copies of records that relate to the incident and/or injury you sustained. This may include hospital bills, medical diagnosis statements, bills related to property damage, and insurance records. You may also need to maintain records of lost wages if the injury has caused you to miss work.

5) Be Careful When Dealing with Insurance Companies

In most instances, working with an insurance company will be necessary in order to complete your personal injury claim. It is helpful to have a lawyer on hand for advice when dealing with large insurance companies.

6) Contact Your Lawyer Before Signing Any Documents!

Make sure you completely understand the terms of any forms and documents to be filled out in relation to the incident. Do not sign any forms or documents if you are not sure of how they will affect you. This includes any forms that may be presented to you by an insurance company after the event. Insurance companies and/or their attorneys may present you with documents or contracts that ask you to release the other party from liability, or that require you to forfeit your right to a lawsuit. It is imperative that you contact your lawyer before signing any documents related to the personal injury event.

7) Avoid Settling on Your Own

Settling your personal injury claim on your own with the other party or with their insurance company is a complicated process. Working with a lawyer can help you avoid costly mistakes that can have negative effects on your claim. An experienced personal injury attorney can help you maximize your recovery related to your incident.

8) Be Aware of Filing Deadlines!

It is important that you pursue your legal claim or lawsuit in a timely manner. The majority of personal injury claims have filing deadlines. This is known as the “statute of limitations” which can vary depending on the state and the type incident. Once the statute of limitations has expired, you will likely lose your right to file a lawsuit.

9) Research the Legal Process

It may be worthwhile to familiarize yourself with the basics of personal injury lawsuits in your jurisdiction. Preparing a case for settlement and filing a lawsuit can be a long and costly process. Speaking with a lawyer for some basic guidelines can help make the process easier to digest.

10) Be Sure to Hire the Right Kind of Lawyer

Be sure to hire a firm that specializes in representing people injured as a result of someone else’s negligence. O’Malley & Perry Law has ample experience handling all types of personal injury matters. Call us today for a free consultation or with any questions you have about your claim. An attorney from our firm will be happy to assist you.

Questions? Contact us directly to discuss your options and answer any of your legal concerns today.