Why the first few days after an accident are so important
This article looks at how the decisions made in the first few days after an accident can have a lasting impact.
If you have recently been involved in a car accident, the shock and trauma of what you have just experienced are probably still fresh in your mind. Because car accidents are so upsetting, it can be difficult to make rational decisions about what steps you should initially take in order to help yourself recover and to increase your chances of receiving the maximum compensation you are entitled to under the law. Make no mistake, however, that the choices you make in the first few days and even hours after an accident could dramatically impact the amount of compensation you are ultimately awarded. To ensure you make the right decisions after your accident, call Aaron & Aaron immediately.
First things first
No matter the severity of the crash, the first step you should always take following an accident is to make sure you, your passengers, and anybody else involved in the accident is alright. If you think you may require medical attention, call 911 immediately. Remember that just because you don't feel any pain doesn't mean that you haven't been injured. Instead, your body may simply be in shock. Not only will prompt medical attention increase your chances of a full recovery, but the more medical evidence you have, the stronger your case will be when you file a personal injury claim. Do not make statements to anyone at the scene about feeling "alright" or being "ok". If your body is in shock, you won't feel your injuries until minutes and sometimes hours later. These statements could make it more difficult to receive the compensation you deserve for your injuries and suffering.
If you do not require medical assistance, then you should remain at the scene and gather insurance and contact information from the other involved parties. Do not admit fault to anybody at the scene! Additionally, get the contact information of witnesses. The police must also be contacted if anybody was injured or killed or if damage exceeds $1,000. While a police report can be extremely helpful in establishing a strong personal injury case, keep in mind that you should only provide the information that the police actually ask of you. As the South Carolina Bar notes, even if you think you are at fault, you should not admit this to a police officer since additional information may come to light later showing that the other driver was equally or even more at fault.
Fault and evidence
Speaking of fault, determining who is mostly at fault for an accident will determine both whether you can pursue a personal injury lawsuit and how much you can expect to be compensated for. As FindLaw notes, if a driver is found to be 50 percent or less at fault for an accident then he or she may be able to recover damages from the at-fault driver.
Keep in mind, however, that how much compensation you receive will partly depend on how much you and the other driver(s) are each considered at fault for the crash. Simply put, the lower your percentage of fault is determined to be, the higher your compensation could be. Thus, having evidence that proves the other driver's fault is extremely important. In addition to the medical evidence, contact information, and police report noted above, you should also take photos of the accident scene, damage to the vehicles, and any injuries you have sustained.
Fighting for you
The tiniest misstep in the minutes/days after an accident can seriously impact the amount of compensation you may ultimately receive. It is extremely important that you contact Aaron & Aaron, personal injury attorneys as soon after your accident as possible. By getting in touch with Aaron & Aaron today, you will have somebody on your side who can fight for your rights and help you pursue whatever compensation you are legally entitled to.