4 Steps to Immediately Take After a Car Accident to Preserve Your Personal Injury Claim

Chances are, when you’ve just been in an accident, you’re not thinking too hard about the legal implications of the situation. This is completely understandable. The good news is that the steps you would probably take anyway will actually help you preserve your claim. Here’s why.

1) Call the police. This seems like a rather obvious recommendation, but the reason might surprise you. Regardless of whether the police actually come to the accident, it is critically important to notify them of the accident at the outset. If they send an officer out, the officer will likely prepare a police report documenting what exactly happened. This is an extremely important document to have. It will be used by your insurance company, the other driver’s insurance company, and potentially the court to divvy up legal liability for the accident. It is imperative to be honest and give as much detail as possible so that the report can be as accurate as possible. If an officer is not sent to the scene, document that you called and they decided not to send someone. Follow up as soon as you can at the police station and file a report there.

2) Document the scene. The problem of getting photo documentation right after an accident has been almost completely eliminated thanks to cameras on cell phones. The key here is to take pictures not only of the damage to your car, but also to the other car, and if applicable, of your injuries. Take pictures of the area in which the accident occured to give an idea of the driving conditions at the time, the time of day, whether it was cloudy or sunny or nighttime, and where your car stopped after the accident. If possible, take video footage as well to give an overall view of the scene. All of this background information can be enormously helpful in re-creating the accident at a later date or documenting injuries and damages.

3) Seek medical treatment. Even if you do not believe that you have been injured, it is always a good idea to get examined by a physician in the immediate aftermath of the accident, but it’s up to you. Certain internal injuries do not manifest immediately or obviously and physicians can find signs that would otherwise be missed. The visit to the doctor will also result in a record of your symptoms and your examination at that time which can be helpful later on to document injuries.

4) Contact a personal injury attorney. Again, this seems like an obvious suggestion, but the reason might surprise you. Personal injury attorneys are extremely useful to accident victims even if there is not going to be a lawsuit against the other driver. An experienced and knowledgeable Kansas City personal injury attorney can assist in negotiations with the insurance company of the other driver as well as with negotiations with your own insurance company. Remember, your insurance company does not work for you and their bottom line in this situation is to pay as little on the claim as possible. You need a powerful advocate in your corner to help get all that is due to you.

Tim Starosta is a Kansas City personal injury attorney you can call after an accident who will help you evaluate your claim, negotiate with insurance companies, and work as hard as possible to get you the best possible outcome. Our firm’s goal is to make lifelong friends and connections with all of our clients, so let us help you today! Contact us here.

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The Starosta Law Firm LLC

The Starosta Law Firm is a small firm dedicated to providing every client with the customized representation they require, no matter what type of situation they are facing.

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