As a passenger in a motor vehicle accident, you have the right to be repaid for your damages if it turns out the driver is responsible. After a motor vehicle accident, there are specific steps you can take to build your case from the start.
If you have a chance to begin building a compelling case against the liable party, why wouldn’t you? Your car accident lawyer at John Foy & Associates will help guide you through the claims process and maximize your compensation. Here is more about some of the most critical steps to take as a passenger in a motor vehicle wreck.
1. Contact the Police and Emergency Responders
Always start by contacting emergency responders and the police. Although you may not be legally required to inform the police and file a report, if there were severe bodily injuries, deaths, or significant property damages, state law may require you to report the accident to the police.
But that is not the only benefit. When the police arrive at the accident scene, they will come ready to gather evidence and establish liability. To win your car accident claim, proving negligence and fault is essential as the evidence police obtain, including their crash and police reports, will be used to support your case.
Even if you initially feel you have only suffered minor injuries, calling emergency responders to the accident scene is also wise. You may be dealing with invisible injuries that could worsen or prove catastrophic if left untreated.
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2. Gather Evidence at the Accident Scene
While you wait for the police and emergency responders to arrive at the scene of your car accident, there are certain types of evidence you can gather to start building your case.
Get the Liable Party’s Contact Information and Insurance Details
First, if you are physically capable of doing so, speak with the driver who hit you and exchange contact information. It would be best if you wrote down the following information related to the liable party:
- Their name and phone number
- The name of their insurance company
- The insurance policy number
- Their driver’s license number
- Their license plate number
- The liable party’s auto insurance policy number
Take Photos and Videos of Your Injuries and the Accident Scene
Next, do what you can to take a video of the accident scene and the injuries you sustained. Pay close attention to the area surrounding the accident. By taking photos of debris, damaged property, damage to the vehicle, and the area surrounding the crash, you can help accident reconstructionists re-create the accident and support your version of events.
At the same time, take photos and video of the injuries you suffered and those of the driver of the vehicle you traveled in. This can help provide valuable medical evidence to support the severity of your injuries and their impact on your life.
Write Down How the Accident Happened
Take a minute to jot down or compile a note on your phone of how the accident happened. Remember to include even seemingly minor details you could forget as the days and weeks go on. Even the most insignificant detail could provide valuable evidence to prove the defendant’s liability and negligence.
Get Witnesses’ Contact Information
Additionally, take steps to speak to any people who might have witnessed the accident. Collect their contact information so police can reach out when necessary, and try to jot it down, or better yet, take a video of their testimony.
You should also note any homes or businesses nearby that could have home security or business surveillance systems that caught the car accident on video. Then, your attorney can contact these businesses or residential homes to access their video footage which could offer critical supporting evidence.
3. Get Evaluated by Healthcare Providers
As previously mentioned, you should always obtain a medical evaluation after a car accident. Passengers often suffer more severe injuries than drivers. If you initially feel fine, you still need to be seen by healthcare providers. If you do not obtain this medical review, the defense may argue you are exaggerating the extent of your injuries, as you did not require immediate medical attention.
By getting medical help from the start, you can create medical evidence to support your case. This way, the insurance company, judge, jury, and other involved parties can see the extent of your injuries and how they have impacted your life.
4. Contact a Car Accident Lawyer
Do not hesitate to call a car accident lawyer as soon as possible after the accident. Immediately after calling emergency responders and 911, calling a car accident attorney for help should be a top priority. The sooner you get a lawyer working on your case, the better.
We must start gathering time-sensitive evidence immediately or risk losing it. Your lawyer can also guide you through the claims process and help you cover your medical costs while you wait for your car accident claims to be processed.
5. Continue Medical Treatment
It is imperative to continue all medical care recommended by your doctor. If you discontinue care against a medical provider’s advice, this could be taken as a sign by the insurance carrier that you have not sustained as severe an injury as believed. Additionally, an insurance claim should never be settled until all medical care is completed.
Let John Foy & Associates Help Today
Once you hire a car accident lawyer at John Foy & Associates to take on your case, you do not need to worry about a thing. Suppose you take these steps to protect yourself and gather evidence to prove negligence and liability. In that case, you have an increased chance of recovering the compensation you are entitled to.
Learn more about the value of your claim and the parties who you can sue for your damages when you fill out our online contact form or call our office to schedule your no-cost, risk-free consultation today.