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Steps to Take After an Auto Accident 
Auto Accident

There are over six million auto accidents every year and taking the right steps after an accident is vital. Learn what you should do if you get involved in an accident. Spokespersons: Corporal Rob Maroney, Maryland State Police; Richard Hospital, Insurance Underwriter   

An auto accident can have devastating consequences on a person's livelihood should they be seriously injured. To start, accident victims often go through financial woes because they are not able to work and sometimes accumulate medical expenses they cannot afford. Secondly, because of their injuries, spouses are often physically unable to fulfil their marital obligations. Also, parents cannot physically interact with their children from day to day. In addition, accident victims have trouble sleeping, find it hard to take care of themselves, are physically unable to sit or stand for long periods of time, can be very dependant on pain relievers and can't get back to the health and mobility that they had before the auto accident.

For the preceding reasons, all auto accident sufferers should follow the steps listed below to safeguard themselves and maximize the amount of any settlement they receive from an insurance company.

1. Get the Names and Contact Statements of All Witnesses

It is imperative to obtain the name, phone number, address and e-mail, if possible, of all persons who witnessed the accident. These people are unbiased witnesses and are often considerably convincing to judges and juries.

2. Take Pictures of The Accident Scene

If you include photographs of the accident site, your presentation will be far more convincing during negotiations and at a trial, if necessay.  Take photos of:

Damage to all the vehicles involved in the accident;

Street signs, lights, and street divider lines where the accident occurred;

All visible physical injuries you received in the accident;

Damage to the interior of your car, any debris on the street and on the sidewalk;

Anything else you think is relevant to the cause of the accident.

Showing a picture of a demolished car to a judge and/or jury is far more compelling than trying to recount the damage verbally. Moreover, showing pictures of the cars positions right after an accident could prove why an accident occurred.

3. Go See a Doctor

Often, Persons who have had a car accident shrug off going for medical help because they believe the soreness and pain they feel will disappear on its own. This can be a serious mistake because pain and damage can worsen in the days and months ahead.

If you are submitting a claim for personal injury but cannot present medical evidence to establish your injuries then your success for a settlement or jury verdict is greatly diminished.

4. Do Not Record a Statement for a Insurance Company

The only purpose of an insurance company to record a statement is to get evidence to use against you in the future.  retain a personal injury lawyer before you give a recorded statement to an insurance company.

5. Exchange Information with all involved in the accident

Give and receive following information:
Name
Address
Phone Number(s)
Insurance Company and Policy Number
Driver's License Number
Make and Model of Vehicle
Vehicle Registration
License Plate Number

6. File an Accident Report with the police

An accident report establishes that at an auto accident happened. Further, police officers will provide information in their reports, including witnesses, diagrams, insurance information, if anyone went to the hospital and the identities and contact information of the drivers and passengers. Moreover, the police officer can be a witness for you in the event of a trial. 

7. Keep all Receipts

Compensation can be granted for lodging, medicine, gas mileage, medical equipment and a host of other expenses. However, you will only be reimbursed for expenses that you can validate. 

It is recommended that all accident victims retain a personal injury attorney to vastly boost their prospect of receiving full remuneration. 
Used with permission of www.iii.org

Steps After an Accident