In the moments after a car crash, everything is chaotic. Injured victims need immediate medical attention, and traffic has backed up as vehicles cannot pass the wrecks sitting in the middle of the road. However, the actions you take in the aftermath of a car accident can make the difference between receiving compensation for your injuries and losing out on any compensation whatsoever. Continue reading to find out what to do after a car accident in Louisville–and what not to do.
Call the Police
A police report is a terrific asset to have. The responding officer can take down everyone’s story about what happened and possibly make a preliminary determination of fault. The officer can also identify and speak to witnesses. Avoid thinking that the accident is too minor to warrant an officer coming out to the scene.
Don’t Admit Fault for the Accident
Anything you say can be used against you later in a lawsuit, and you should expect the other driver’s lawyer to twist things that you say:
- If you say, “I’m sorry,” a lawyer will claim you are taking responsibility for the crash.
- If you say, “I’m okay,” a lawyer will argue that you are admitting that you do not have any injuries. However, some injuries are slow to develop after an accident.
- If you say, “I didn’t even see you,” a lawyer will claim you are admitting that you were distracted behind the wheel of a vehicle.
The less you say, the better. Instead, ask the other driver or any passengers if they want you to call emergency services and then stand to the side and wait for the police to arrive. You do not need to engage in small talk with the other driver.
Document the Crash
If at all possible, try to collect some information while at the scene of the accident. Get the following:
- Take pictures of where the vehicles have ended up before they are moved out of the way. Use your smartphone or ask someone with a smartphone to take pictures.
- Take pictures of any skid marks on the road.
- If there are any obstructions that you think contributed to the crash, take pictures of those as well. For example, a malfunctioning street light might have contributed to the crash.
Get Immediate Medical Treatment
Your health should be a priority. The faster you get treatment, the more likely you are to make a full recovery. Also, meeting with a doctor helps document the severity of your injuries, which might be in dispute later when you are negotiating a settlement or preparing a lawsuit. As soon as possible, get to the doctor’s or to the hospital.
Also remember to follow your doctor’s medical advice to the letter. If you don’t, then the defendant can claim you are partially responsible for your own injuries.
Don’t Negotiate without a Louisville Car Accident Lawyer in Your Corner
Some injured victims think they can negotiate with the driver’s insurance company without a lawyer’s help. Chances are, however, you will make a critical mistake. For example, you might minimize your injuries or inadvertently admit partial responsibility for the crash. An insurance adjuster will use either of these to reduce the amount of compensation you receive.