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DO’S AND DON’TS WHEN YOU GET IN A CAR WRECK

in a car wreckIf you or a loved one get in a car wreck, there are a few things you should keep in mind in order to protect your health and your interests.  Taking the proper steps can increase the possibility of obtaining full compensation for your injuries.  The following are some of the do’s and don’ts that may help you safeguard your rights as an injured person.

  1. DO’S
  • Make sure to verify the extent of your injuries, if any, including those of your passengers. If needed, get medical attention right away.  Your health and the health of your passengers is the most important thing.
  • If the car wreck warrants it, call 911 and request for the police to arrive at and investigate the scene of the wreck. The police officers will file a police report with all of the information regarding the wreck, including:  the persons involved, their contact information, license plate numbers, and insurance information.  Make sure you obtain the name(s) and other contact information of the police officer(s).
  • Contact your car insurance company and/or make sure the other driver contacts his or her insurance company as well. Make sure to ask for the claim number as you will need it throughout this process.
  • Document everything. You need to:
  • Write down the date and time of the car wreck.
  • Get the license plate numbers of all the cars involved in the wreck, including drivers and witnesses. You should also get names, telephone numbers, addresses, and insurance information (e.g. name of the insurance company and claim number).
  • Take photographs of the damage of your vehicle, the other vehicles involved in the wreck, of your injuries and/or the other passengers, if possible, and of the scene of the wreck from all angles.
  • Keep all the documentation related to your medical treatment and expenses (invoices, hospital liens, medical records, etc.).
  • Get a valuation of your car’s damage both from your insurance company or the other driver’s insurance company, as well as from an independent repair shop.
  • Follow up with the corresponding police department to obtain a copy of the police report. The information contained there may be useful for your case.
  • Contact an attorney who specializes in personal injury and motor vehicle accidents. There are questions you should ask your potential attorney before you decide to hire him/her, such as:
  • What areas are you specialized in?
  • Do you have experience in personal injury cases and insurance law? For how long?
  • Have you handled a case like mine before? If so, how many and what were the results?
  • Are you a trial lawyer? If so, for how long and how many cases have you taken to trial?
  • How many cases in total is your law firm handling? Do you have time to handle my case?
  • Are you a member of any association or organization? If so, what are those?
  • Is your law license in good standing?
  • Do you work on a contingency fee basis, where if you don’t win you don’t get paid?
  • What is your criteria for accepting to handle any type of case?
  • Will your law firm handle my case or will you refer it to another attorney?
  • What is your success rate?
  1. DON’TS
  • Don’t panic. Keep calm.
  • Don’t argue with the other driver or drivers involved in the car wreck.
  • Don’t move your car from the scene of the wreck unless it is absolutely necessary for safety purposes.
  • Don’t lie to the police or exaggerate what happened.
  • If the police were called, don’t leave the scene of the wreck until the police officers get there.
  • Don’t give any verbal or written statement to any insurance company because it can be considered as an acceptance of liability.
  • Don’t sign any document offered by any insurance company unless and until you are represented by an experienced attorney.
  • Don’t wait long to seek medical treatment for your injuries. By doing so, you could not only put your health in danger but it could hurt your personal injury case.

Personal injury law is very complex so you need an experienced attorney who will stand by your side, and who will provide you with most effective representation possible.  If you or a loved have been involved in a car wreck and has suffered injuries as a result of the negligence of another person, please keep these tips in mind and contact us immediately.  We are here for you.