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You got into a car accident, now what....

You got into a car accident, now what….

As a personal injury attorney, I am often contacted by people who have just gotten into a car accident and they do not know what to do. These people are often dealing with injuries, damage to their car, and numerous other concerns. First, I like to offer them some basic advice to put them at ease. Here is a simple list of DOs and DONTs that can really help in the few days after the accident.

DOs
  • DO receive medical care if you think that you are hurt. Listen to your body. If you are in pain, see a doctor. I have seen many clients suffer unnecessary injuries because they failed to seek medical attention after an accident. It is always better to be safe than sorry. Your health is the most important thing.
  • DO contact a personal injury attorney. Even if you are unsure of whether you "have a case or not", contact an attorney. An attorney will help resolve your potential claims and deal with your insurance provider, as well as the responsible party's insurance provider. An Insurance Research Council study found that hiring an attorney will typically lead to resolving a claim for 3.5 times more than those claims resolved without an attorney. Steven J. Morton & Associates offers free consultations. Please feel free to contact us.
  • DO take pictures. Having pictures of your car, the other driver's car, and the scene of the accident, and your injuries can be extremely important. Obviously, if you are hurt, seek medical attention before taking any photographs. If you are not hurt, and taking pictures would not put you in danger, then take the photos. Today, most people have cameras on their cell phones. Don't be afraid to use them.
  • DO save your paperwork. Whenever you are in a car accident, the police should be called. You should get a copy of the police report generated by the reporting officer. You can do this by calling the non-emergent line of the police department. Also, start saving all of your medical records and bills. Be organized. It will save you time and energy as your claim progresses.

DONTs
  • DON'T make any record statements. Insurance providers have been known to ask for recorded statements or written statement after an accident. I strongly recommend you do not make any such statements without first consulting an attorney. Even though your insurance agent is supposed to help you, their objectives can often be out of line with yours. No matter what the insurance carrier says, these statement can come back to hurt you.
  • DON'T sign anything. People are often confused by the paperwork provided by their insurance company after an accident. It is important that you not sign anything that you do not understand. Always contact an attorney before signing any documents associated with your accident.
  • DON'T send your records to the insurance company. The insurance company is going to ask you for medical records, bills, and many other documents. Before you send these documents you should talk to an attorney.

This list is not exclusive and every situation is unique. An experienced personal injury attorney should be contacted to assist you in this process. Don't worry if you have never been involved in a lawsuit before or feel overwhelmed. That's normal. Steven J. Morton & Associates is here to help.

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