Life is full of uncertainties. It is this unpredictable element which forces us humans to plan and adopt discipline. However, in spite of all the precautions things could still go wrong. Accident is one such example. It can happen one fine day and change your life forever. Accident can jeopardize your future, your current earnings, prohibit you from going to work and throw you into a financial avalanche, destroying your life forever. All these setbacks can be taken care of if right actions are initiated. If you are one of those unfortunate souls, make sure you follow the below mentioned guidelines. These are the five mantras or things that every auto accident victim should do.
1. Intimate the authorities
This typically means calling up the police immediately after the accident has occurred. In case you are badly injured call 911 which allows you to talk to the police and at the same time seek medical help in the form of well equipped ambulance. Yet another advantage of calling 911 is the fact that your call will be recorded and every word you utter will be taped.
What else can you do? Take as many pictures of yourself, the vehicle involved in the accident and the entire scene. This will later prove beneficial in case you are completely innocent which brings us to the next important aspect of an accident. Should you accept or deny allegation? The answer is “Do not accept or deny the fault for the accident”. It doesn’t matter as the reason or the circumstances leading to it will be determined later.
Collect the names, addresses and registration number of all the drivers involved and do not forget the witnesses. Jot down their numbers. Make sure you collect the police report written at the accident site. All these documents will help you later in getting a fair compensation or to sue negligent driver/s for various damages.
2. Medical treatment
Once the report is done and finished, and various formalities fulfilled, it is important that you get yourself treated for even minor injuries. Remember, in case you discover a serious problem post settlement which prevents you from earning your livelihood, no court of law would share your sentiments. It simply means you cannot fight for justice. So make sure you get diagnosed and treated and at the same time keep all the relevant papers handy. Do not delay in going to the hospital. It could change your life forever.
3. Insurance agent
Now is the time to talk to your insurance agent. From the very outset insurance agents typically try to find loopholes in accident cases. So make sure you do not get bogged down by his/her technical jargon and legal sermons. Stick to your guns and make yourself very clear. Another facet of these agents is to offer a paltry compensation and close the case on priority basis. Do not accept such an offer as you might have to end up paying from your own pocket. Yet another blunder you must avoid is “Out of court” settlement or bypassing police and Insurance Company. This could prove fatal.
A final word of caution; while dealing with insurance agents, do not sign any papers without seeking legal advice.
4. Do not rush
Accident victims generally tend to opt for quick settlement. This includes compensation or winding up of the case. It is only natural, as accident is a traumatic experience and victims like to forget the incident and get on with their lives. However, such an attitude could prove to be your nemesis. Knowing the full extent of your injury and diagnosing hidden or unseen traumas takes time. As mentioned above, quick settlement would debar you from any future claims including gradual maiming and loss of internal organ.
5. Hire an experienced personal injury lawyer
The best option in case you are unsure about your injuries or ill equipped to handle your own case is to hire a personal injury lawyer. Once you hire an attorney, hand over all the papers including police report, medical bills, doctor’s report etc. It becomes his/her duty to make sure you do not suffer financially, physically and mentally. These lawyers typically ‘work on hire first pay later’ maxim. So you need not worry about his/her fees as it will be adjusted or claimed from your settlement amount. Some attorneys go a step further and offer immediate medical support.
Hiring an attorney makes sure you concentrate on recovering and getting back to your routine instead of running around from one department to another or pleading with various people and agencies.
Bernard Naylor is a Passionate Blogger and Writer. He likes blogging about Home & Garden, Health & Fitness, Online strategies that are related to SEO, Content, PPC & Lead generation, Law related tips.