1. Get the name and phone numbers for any witnesses
A witness is extremely valuable in an automobile accident case, even more so than a police report. Do not trust the other driver to take responsibility for the accident, even if they apologize to you. Often, our patients report that the other driver's story changed once they left the scene and spoke with their insurance company. We hate to hear our clients' stories when they trusted the other driver to tell the truth, but the defendant changed their story after the fact.
2. Call the Police, and ask for a police report.
Although witness statements are more valuable, people do not always stop to offer to be a witness. Even if you have a witness, call the police to get an incident report. Police do not always write reports, and police reports do not always prove fault, but reporting the accident is always helpful.
3. Come into Sang's Wellness Center to be evaluated.
Get your injuries documented and treated as soon as possible. After an accident, a rush of adrenaline floods your system. This adrenaline may mask the symptoms of your injury initially. It is common for automobile accident patients to report feeling the initial onset of pain 24-72 hours after the accident.
It is safer to be evaluated and checked out after the accident than to wait. If you wait to receive a medical evaluation, the insurance company can argue that you have "a gap in treatment," meaning that you waited too long. Insurance companies have argued that waiting a few days or a week, even while they are finishing their investigation, will prove that they do not have to pay for your injuries.
4. Think twice before talking to the insurance company.
Before you speak with the insurance company, think about protecting yourself. Consider getting a consultation from an experienced lawyer. Remember that the insurance company is a business and may be protecting their interests before yours.
The insurance company will make you believe that you need to give them a recorded statement. If you hire an attorney, you will not need to give a recorded statement to the at fault insurance company. If you are considering contacting an attorney, it is recommended that you do so immediately so that your interests can be looked after by someone experienced in insurance and injury law.