The prospect that you may need to file a claim following a motor vehicle incident may leave you wondering what you can do to improve your situation. From the time an accident occurs until you sit down with a lawyer for a consultation, there are at least three things you need to do to handle the problem.
Seek Medical Attention First
Folks often get worried about documenting what happened so they can present their case to someone at an auto accident attorney service firm. Take care of your health first. Make sure everyone at the scene is okay, and request medical help if there is even the slightest hint anything might be wrong with anyone.
Even as a purely pragmatic matter involving a claim, medical attention is critical to a case. Often, the reports produced by doctors in the immediate aftermath end up being the most compelling evidence an auto accident attorney can present.
Document the Scene
After everyone's medical needs have been taken care of, you should try to get as fresh a take as possible on what the scene of the accident was like. In the age of cell phones, everyone should have access to a camera. If you don't have a phone on you, borrow one from a bystander or ask someone you trust to give you their phone.
Similarly, try to get the names and contact information of any first responders or police officer you may have interacted with. Hearing from professionals who saw the scene of an incident also frequently compels claims adjusters, judges and juries to take a claim seriously.
Collect all the relevant reports that were produced due to the accident, too. At a minimum, there should be at least one police report and one medical report. If you do any follow-up care, such as going to a chiropractor to deal with neck pain, politely ask them to provide you with a report.
Prepare to Play the Long Game
While you may be worried about getting money to deal with accumulating medical bills or other expenses, an auto accident attorney will want you to wait until as much is known as possible about your injuries. In most states, you'll have between two and three years to initial file a claim. Once you settle a case, there's no going back to get more money. If possible, hold off on settling until your lawyer is sure it's time.