After a car accident you will share information with local police who respond to the scene of the accident, the at-fault driver, and with a personal injury attorney. Right at the scene, the information you should exchange in a car accident includes your driver’s license information and insurance policy and contact information. You should share this information with the other involved driver and local police who will also request your vehicle’s registration information.
In the immediate aftermath of an accident, it can be hard to know what to do next and what steps to follow later. In addition to exchanging this information at the accident scene, you should also share it with a personal injury attorney in your area. Your attorney will help you use it and other information to build a strong case for the financial compensation you are entitled to receive.
The Information You Exchange Helps Support Your Right to Compensation
Unless your injuries prevent you from doing so, the first thing you should do after an accident is move your vehicle to a safe location. Call police immediately and inform the responding officers if you require emergency medical care.
Exchange the required information, but do not make any further statements. Avoid arguing with the at-fault driver or talking to his insurance provider without speaking to a lawyer.
You should also:
- Note the accident’s location and time.
- Note the road and weather conditions.
- Request contact information from witnesses.
- Take pictures of your vehicle from a variety of angles.
- Take similar pictures of the at-fault driver’s vehicle, if possible.
Exchanging and collecting information at the accident scene is critical. It can help you avoid potentially harmful misinformation or any distortion of the accident’s facts later. In addition, according to Insurance Information Institute (III) guidelines, you should remain at the accident scene and start pursuing compensation without delay.
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Obtain a Copy of Your Car Accident Report
Your car accident report is an important part of your evidence file when you pursue the at-fault driver. It will help prove the at-fault driver’s fault and ensure liability is accurately assigned. In addition to the information exchanged at the scene, it will also contain:
- Witness statements and contact information
- Police-generated photos and videos
- Accident causes and contributing factors
- Information on vehicle points of impact
The lawyer who helps you build your case for financial recovery will obtain a copy of this report. Because it will contain the accident’s date and time, it will also help you and your legal team comply with the statute of limitations in your state and avoid running out of time to file your potential lawsuit.
Understand How Your Car Accident Lawyer Uses the Information You Exchange
The last thing you want to do after a car accident is fight with the at-fault driver’s insurance company for the compensation their policyholder’s negligence entitles you to receive. An attorney near you can handle the insurance company on your behalf.
The car accident attorney handling your case will:
- Communicate with the insurer on your behalf
- Determine the monetary value of your case
- Obtain, complete, and submit insurance claim forms
- Negotiate a favorable financial settlement for you
Most car accidents are settled out of court when the evidence points to the at-fault driver’s negligence. Your lawyer will collect evidence and present it to the insurer in an organized and timely fashion.
Some post-accident information cannot be obtained or exchanged at the scene. These include your medical records which could start at the accident scene if you required emergency care but can go on much longer.
Your lawyer will collect your:
- Hospital admissions
- Therapy and rehab records
- Required medication lists
- Surgical care records
Your lawyer will also request a copy of your written prognosis. It will help him define the medical and rehabilitative care you will require after your case is resolved and ensure these costs are covered.
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A car accident of any degree of severity can have a serious financial impact. To ensure your compensation request is fair and appropriate, your lawyer will compile the following financial information:
- Income records including paycheck stubs
- Estimates of your future earning potential
- Estimates to repair your damaged vehicle or to replace your totaled vehicle
You do not have to collect this information on your own. Your lawyer will also collect evidence that proves the value of the physical and emotional pain and suffering you incurred.
Call for Your Free Consultation Today
If you or someone you love were injured in a car accident, the information you exchange can help you hold the at-fault driver financially responsible for their actions. Our personal injury team will build a strong case for compensation and fight for the best possible outcome for you.
Contact the car accident team at Bader Scott Injury Lawyers to get a free review of your case today.