What Should I Do After a Car Accident?

A car accident can leave a victim physically injured, and emotionally traumatized, and facing financial hardship. If you were injured in a motor vehicle collision and another party caused or contributed to the accident you may be entitled to compensation for your injuries. Navigating an unfamiliar legal system in addition to trying to heal, however, can be challenging. A Murfreesboro car accident lawyer at Bennett | Michael | Hornsby offers some steps to take following a car accident that can help ensure you are fully and fairly compensated for all your injuries.

What to Do Following a Car Accident

The steps you take in the hours and days after a car accident are important, both to the healing process and to protecting your legal rights. With

Broken glass as evidence of car accident

that in mind, the following steps should be taken after a car accident:

  1. Have a thorough medical evaluation done immediately.  Whether your injuries are obvious or not, always have a thorough medical evaluation done as soon after a car accident as possible. Symptoms of serious injuries, including traumatic brain injuries and spinal cord injuries, often do not show up until hours or days after the injury. In the meantime, those injuries can worsen and/or cause permanent damage. In addition to protecting your health, an immediate medical evaluation can also be used to help prove that your injuries were the result of the accident.
  2. Contact the police. Call 911 to report the accident. First, state law may require you to do this. Second, contacting the police creates an official record of the accident which may be necessary if you file an insurance claim and/or end up in litigation.
  3. Preserve evidence. If you are capable of doing so, take photos using your cell phone to use as evidence showing the scene of the accident. Try and get pictures of the vehicles involved as well as the surrounding area, including traffic signs/lights, road construction, and anything else that might have contributed to the accident.  Collect contact information (including insurance information if applicable) from parties involved in the collision and any witnesses to the crash. 
  4. Document your injuries. Compile medical bills, repair estimates, and other pieces of documentary evidence as you receive them. Request a copy of the police report and keep detailed records of all medical treatment you receive related to the accident. Do the same if you seek therapy for the emotional trauma you suffered because of the accident. Start a pain journal as well so you can write down things relating to the non-economic damages (things such as pain, suffering, and emotional distress).
  5. Obtain property damage estimates. Your insurance company may send out a representative to look at your vehicle and prepare a damage estimate. Nevertheless, you should get at least two additional estimates in case the insurance company undervalues the damage to your vehicle.
  6. Do not speak to the insurance company without first consulting with an attorney. If another party was partially or wholly responsible for the collision, their insurance company will likely try and contact you shortly after the accident. Do not speak to an insurance company representative without first consulting with an experienced car accident lawyer. Most importantly, never agree to give a taped statement to an insurance company without an attorney present. Remember, the insurance company for the at-fault party does not have your best interests in mind. Their job is to minimize the value of the claim they ultimately pay out.
  7. Contact an Experienced Car Accident Lawyer. To ensure that the responsible party (or parties) is held accountable for your injuries, and to ensure that you are fairly compensated for all your injuries, consult with an experienced Tennessee car accident attorney as soon as possible after being injured in a car accident.

Contact a Murfreesboro Car Accident Lawyer

If you have questions or concerns about a car accident in Tennessee, contact a Murfreesboro car accident lawyer to discuss your options. Contact the team at Bennett | Michael | Hornsby as soon as possible by calling 615-898-1560 to schedule your free appointment.

Stan Bennett