I was in a car accident, what should I do?
Never drive away from the scene of the accident, even a minor one. If you leave, particularly where someone has sustained injuries or was killed, you can face serious criminal penalties for being a hit-and-run driver.
2. Check on All Drivers and Passengers
Before assessing property damage, make sure everyone involved in the accident is okay. Get medical attention for anyone who needs it. If a person is unconscious or has neck or back pain, don’t move them until qualified medical help arrives, unless a hazard requires moving the person.
3. Call The Police
Even if there no serious injuries, it is a good idea to call the police. You may need a police report to file a claim with your insurance claim or to further pursue legal action of medical bills and pain suffering. Filing a police report in Ohio is incredible important and we recommend doing it
4. Make an Accurate Record
When the police arrive, make sure you tell the investigating officer(s) exactly what happened, to the best of your ability. If you do not certain facts, tell that to the officer. Don’t speculate, guess or misstate any facts. If you are uncertain if you are injured, tell the officer you are not sure. The police report can be an instrument to help you or hurt. Throughout the years at Taubman Law our clients statements in the police reports have helped and hindered their cases. Remember if you are unsure about something, tell the officer that you are unsure how the accident occurred, etc.
5. Take Pictures
6. Exchange Information
7. Report The Accident
8. Seek Medical Attention
Often, injuries caused by motor vehicle accidents are not immediately apparent. Most of our clients report feeling the most pain a day or two following an automobile accident. Unless you are absolutely certain you were not injured, you should seek medical attention at your local emergency room or by seeing your family physician. Even in accidents involving minor impact, you can sustain serious injuries to you spine and head. Going to get proper medical treatment is one of the most important things to do after an accident.
9. Use Caution in Discussing the Incident
Don’t talk to anyone about the accident other than your lawyer, your insurance company, and the police. Don’t talk to a representative of another insurance company, without the knowledge of your attorney or insurer. If called by the other insurance company, be polite, but ask them to call your attorney or insurer to arrange an interview. Also, tell your lawyer or insurer about the call.
10. Be Wary of Early Settlement Offers
Be careful if you’re offered a settlement from an insurance company. Confirm all your physical injuries have been treated. Some injuries don’t show up or reach their greatest level of discomfort until many days, weeks, or months later. Don’t settle a claim until you know you’ll be compensated for all your injuries, and consult an attorney before signing any settlement documents. Insurance companies will try to have you settle before you know the extent of your injuries and will try to at an undervalued amount.
11. Consider Hiring an Attorney
If anyone was injured in the accident, it’s best to consult an experienced attorney. An attorney can help you maximize your recovery if you’re injured or better defend yourself if you’re at fault. Here at Taubman Law we have been practicing personal injury cases for over 35 years. We don’t get paid unless you get paid. If you’ve been involved in a car accident in Ohio, Cleveland or Columbus. Let us help you get the compensation you deserve and are entitled to. Contact us