No one ever plans on being in a car accident so when you suddenly find yourself on the side of the road with damage to your car, it can be difficult to think straight. That said, the first minutes immediately following a car accident can be critical if you want to protect your legal rights. That's why it's important to educate yourself ahead of time about what to do if you are ever in a car accident so that if the situation ever does arise, you will be able to take control of the situation. Here are 3 things you should do to protect your legal rights immediately following a car accident.
Contact the Police
If the accident is especially bad, chances are someone is going to notice and summon the police anyway. Even for small fender benders, it still might be a good idea to call the police and have them make an official report. The other driver that was involved may say one thing at the scene of the accident but something completely different when they talk to their insurance company. Having an official account of what happened from the police can help you if you are going to file a claim or go after the other party for damages.
Take Photographs to Help Tell the Story
Writing down an official account either on your own or with the help of the police is good, but if you want your case to really stand out, visual evidence is key. Don't leave the scene of the accident without taking as many photos as possible. Get photos of your car, the other vehicle that was involved and take a few shots of the road itself, focused on the direction that you were driving and the direction that the other vehicle was driving. Images like these can help you or your car accident attorney paint a complete picture of what happened to an insurance company or in court if necessary.
Contact An Attorney
If your vehicle suffered significant damage or you were personally injured due to the other driver's negligence, you should get in touch with a local car accident attorney as soon as possible. You don't want to give a recorded statement to the opposing insurance company without making sure your story is legally sound. Your attorney will tell you what to say or may even contact the other party involved for you. Depending on the circumstances, you may even be able to go after the other party in court instead of just through their insurer.
If you are in a car accident, your first phone call should be to the police to get an official report filed. Then, make sure you fully document the scene of the accident, including taking photos of all vehicles involved. If the accident is especially bad or if injuries were sustained, it's a good idea to contact a lawyer to ensure that you don't make any missteps that could affect your legal rights.
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