Car accidents happen everyday. Some of these collisions are severe in nature, while others are just mild fender benders. If you are in a car accident, even a mild one, there are still some things that you need to do to make sure that you are protected in the case that you or the other party files a personal injury lawsuit. Here are some things you need to know.
1. Always Take Pictures Immediately After The Accident
There will be a lot of things to do after the accident. You will need to exchange insurance information, call the police, and make sure that everyone is safe and okay. After you have taken care of these things, you should get out your phone or any device that can take photos and take as many pictures as you can of the cars, the site where it happened, and any other pertinent details. These photos can become very handy if the cause and nature of the accident becomes a "he said, she said" battle. For this reason, always take pictures and make sure that they are dated.
2. Always Take Every Person In The Car To The Doctor
Immediately following the accident, you should take every person to the doctor or a chiropractor for some x-rays and an assessment. This is even true if you think that you have no severe injuries or lasting problems. The concern is that, after a while, the adrenaline wears off from the accident, and as the body starts to heal, even from whiplash, your body may not feel normal. You may notice problems that you didn't detect previously. If you have not taken the time to get official medical reports about what happened during the accidents, and x-rays to prove changes in your body, you could be in trouble. You could need surgery, physical therapy, or medical treatment years later because of these injuries, and without proof that they were caused from the accident, you will not be able to get compensation from the insurance company. Play it safe, and always go to the doctor.
3. Don't Accept Finality Unless You Are Sure It Is Final
Once the insurance pays out the money to get the car fixed and fulfills the claim, they will have you sign a document stating that this is the final payment for the accident. They do this so that you can't come back later and ask for more payment. If you are still unsure if there will be medical bills, or lasting bills for the car and so forth, you should wait to sign the document. You can even consult with an attorney to decide if it is in fact resolved before giving away the opportunity to make another claim.
You can protect yourself by doing these things and working with an auto accident attorney, such as those at Swartz & Swartz P.C..