Being involved in a car accident can feel frightening and overwhelming. First and foremost, in the event of an emergency, always call paramedics if you’re able, or take yourself or others involved in an accident to be treated for any injuries sustained in the accident. Even with accidents being commonplace on the road, many are still wondering, what happens after a car accident? While the situation may vary depending on the circumstances of the accidents, it’s important to know what to avoid soon after an accident.
If you’ve recently been involved in a car accident in Oregon, contact Ryan Hilts for personal injury representation. We offer guidance on how to address the following mistakes. For a free case review, send us a request here.
Failing To Document The Car Accident
When you are involved in a car accident, it’s very important that you or someone else involved knows the details of the accident. When you file a claim, you’re going to need to explain the accident and what took place. If you’ve been injured, first seek medical attention, but try to enlist a witness to help you document for a later date.
Make sure that you or someone who witnessed the accident can:
- Take pictures of your vehicle, and any damage that is sustained
- Take pictures of the other person’s vehicle, and any damage that their vehicle sustained.
- If you were injured, or if there was any other property damage, you should also take photos.
This information will provide the basis for both a DMV Report and any kind of claim or lawsuit. Other items that you should always make note of after a car accident:
- Record the date and time of the accident
- Remember the road you were driving on or the address where the accident took place
- Note the direction you were driving and the direction of the other vehicle involved
- Pieces of information and details of how the accident took place
What happens after a car accident is that most people are temporarily distracted either by the shock of the accident or from injuries. Things tend to happen very quickly and it’s easy to forget minor, but still very important, details of the accident. For this reason, if possible, it’s best to utilize your phone to take proper documentation.
What happens after a car accident? You should call 911. Even if the car accident resulted in no injuries and very little property damage, it’s a good idea to call 911.
When you do that, the police will sometimes come and make a police report. Using that police report, you’ll have access to some very important documentation regarding the accident, which will make it easier to file a successful claim.
Waiting Too Long To File A Report
In the state of Oregon, if you were involved in a car accident where more than $2,500 worth of property was damaged, then you must file an Oregon Traffic Accident And Insurance Report within 72-hours.
Not Seeing A Doctor
Unfortunately, injuries are a very common byproduct of car accidents. If you have been injured you should see a doctor.
While you’re seeing the doctor, a medical report will be created. If you have been injured, and you would like to file a claim, then you can use that medical report to aid in filing the claim. If an insurance company sees that medical report, and sees that your injuries are, in fact, serious, then they are far more likely to give you the compensation that you deserve.
Throwing Away Items That Could Be Potential Evidence
Just as it’s very important for you to document and take photos of the car accident, it’s also important that you keep anything that could be used as evidence for a claim or lawsuit.
Failing To Organize Your Documentation
If you are filing a claim, it is extremely important that you organize all of the documentation you have. Make sure you have all of the basic facts written down and recorded, pictures that are labeled and organized, all of the pertinent insurance information, as well as any records from the doctor, your place of employment, your insurance provider, and the police station.
Without this information being properly organized, it will make the process of filing a claim a lot more challenging. Plus, if you hire an attorney, they will need all of that information organized, so that they can pore through it quickly, and determine the best course of action.
Filing A Claim Without An Attorney
Filing a claim – such as a personal injury claim – without an attorney can be very risky and time-consuming. More often than not, it really doesn’t pay off, due to the complexities and nuances of most car accidents and the intricacies of the legal system.
Instead of filing a claim without an attorney, you should contact a good attorney, who will walk you through the process of organizing all of your documentation, filing the claim, and then taking the claim to court and receiving the compensation that you deserve.
Accepting A Poor Settlement
More often than not, insurance companies attempt to pay as little money as they can get away with. But, you don’t need to accept a poor settlement. Instead, you can work to reach a settlement that is ideal for you.
To do that, it’s best to work with an attorney. Working with an attorney will make it easier to receive the settlement that you deserve, because the attorney will work directly with you and help you navigate the entire process. In fact, on average, individuals who file a claim while working with an attorney receive $60,000 more.