Every year, thousands of vehicle accident victims fail to recover monetary compensation for their injuries and damages, even though they are legally entitled to do so. This is often due to a misunderstanding of the best practices for protecting your rights and ensuring that your damages are paid. Part of protecting your rights after an auto accident includes knowing what to do after the collision takes place.
- Ensure everyone is safe. The first order of business after a collision is to ensure that everyone is safe and that all injuries are treated properly. If there are any head or neck injuries, do not wait; call for an ambulance immediately and have the victim checked by professionals. One of the worst mistakes accident victims make is not seeking medical treatment right away for injuries because they did not believe they were seriously hurt. Many injuries take days to develop fully, so you may not be in pain at the moment, particularly when you are focusing on the stress of the accident. However, a day or two after the collision, you may find that you are experiencing much worse pain, swelling, stiffness, or loss of use of limbs. At that point, seeking medical treatment can become more problematic. Be sure that you or anyone else who is injured is checked out thoroughly at the scene of the crash.
- Collect information. One of the most important things you can do to protect yourself is to be sure you have complete information on the other driver or drivers involved in the crash. By ensuring that you have complete names, addresses, phone numbers, emails, and insurance information, you are protecting your rights in the event that you have to later file a claim against any of these people or companies. This is particularly important if a large truck was involved, as the driver may not be an employee of the company. In that case, you need both the company name and the driver’s individual information. If the accident was a hit-and-run, try to collect as much information as possible about the vehicle, the driver, and any other identifying information. Be sure you also collect witness names, addresses, phone numbers, and emails, whether the other driver stays at the scene or not.
- Talk to an attorney. Before you sign anything waiving any of your rights, be sure to discuss your case with a competent and professional personal injury attorney. It is critical that you do not agree to any waivers, even verbally, before fully exploring your rights.
At Barber & Associates, we have spent decades helping Alaskans protect their rights after a crash. With the help of our attorneys, you can be sure that you receive the maximum possible compensation for your medical bills, car damages, and pain and suffering. Call us today to discuss your car accident case and learn more about how we can help you protect your rights after a collision.