You read a lot about what you should do after a car accident. While this is very good information to have, you also should know what
to do after a car accident.
Protecting Yourself After A Car Accident
Some of the things you do after a car accident can impair your ability to recover full compensation for your injuries, damages, and losses. Avoid the following missteps to protect your right to a fair and full settlement for your accident claim.
Failing to Stop
Failing to stop at the scene of a car accident is against the law in Rhode Island, regardless of the severity of the collision. Always remain at the accident scene until the police arrive.
Failing to Call 911
Regardless of how minor an accident may be or whether anyone is injured, you should always call the police to report the collision. In some cases, you may need a police report to file a claim with your insurance company. Furthermore, a police report can provide valuable information, in addition to documenting the accident.
Saying “I’m sorry” is a huge mistake. You do not want to say anything that may be interpreted as an admission of guilt. By saying you are sorry, you may mean that you are sorry the accident happened; however, the insurance company could argue that you were admitting guilt. Avoid admitting guilt after a car accident. You do not want to give the insurance company for the other driver any reason to claim that you are at fault or even partially at fault.
Confronting the Other Driver
Do not lose your cool after a car accident. Keeping calm may be very difficult if the other driver is clearly at fault, your vehicle is severely damaged, or your child is injured. It is dangerous to allow your temper to explode in this situation. For one, you have no idea what the other driver could do if confronted. Try to remain calm and focus on securing the accident scene and assisting your passengers.
Failing to Document the Accident Scene
If possible, take pictures of the vehicles and the accident scene. Do not risk your safety by standing too close to traffic or venturing into the road. Ask for the names and addresses of any eyewitnesses, in addition to obtaining information from the other driver (i.e. name, address, insurance information, etc.).
Failing to Seek Medical Assistance
You may not believe your injuries are serious; however, you could have a closed head injury or whiplash. The symptoms of some injuries may not be apparent for several hours or days after a car accident. To protect your health, see a doctor as soon as possible after a car accident. Furthermore, delaying medical care could damage your accident claim. The insurance company may argue that your injuries are not as severe as you claim or your injuries are the result of another accident that occurred after the collision in question.
Failing to Make Notes
Memories fade over time. It is important that you make notes about the car accident as soon as possible while the details are fresh on your mind. Include what you remember before, during, and after the car accident. Write down details of conversations you had or you heard at the accident scene. As your case proceeds, keep notes about your recovery, including your pain level and how the injuries impact your daily life. Also, keep notes about each conversation you have regarding the collision and your injuries.
Provide a Statement
You are not under a legal obligation to provide a written or recorded statement to the insurance company for the other driver. The insurance adjuster may encourage you to provide a statement — he may even tell you that he cannot process the claim without your statement. Providing a statement without consulting with an attorney is not in your best interest. It could hurt your injury claim.
Fail to Keep a File
After a car accident, you need a file to keep all documents you receive in one place. Keep copies of everything related to the car accident, including invoices, medical records, receipts, repair bills, and documents from the insurance company.
Failing to Consult With a Rhode Island Accident Attorney
Consulting an experienced Rhode Island car accident attorney is always in your best interest. Proceeding on your own may result in you receiving less compensation than your case is worth. The insurance company for the other driver has a team of adjusters, investigators, and attorneys ensuring that the company’s best interests are protected. You deserve some working on your behalf that will put your best interest first and protect your legal right to receive compensation for your injuries.
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Contact a Rhode Island car accident attorney as soon as possible after a wreck. Call Tapalian Law at
or use our online contact form to schedule a free legal consultation with a car accident attorney.
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