Most drivers over the course of their lives will get in a motor vehicle accident. These accidents can range from minor inconveniences to life-altering events. If you have been injured in an auto wreck, the steps you take can go a long way toward maximizing the value of your personal injury claim. The information below is intended to serve as a general guide for what you can do at the accident scene and after the accident.
At the accident scene
- Take pictures of the accident: If you are able, take photographs on your phone of the damage to your car, the other vehicle, the road and the accident scene in general. These pictures can be helpful in proving what happened.
- Do not apologize to the other driver: Even though it is a very human urge to say sorry after a car accident, an apology can be taken as an admission of fault. When talking to the other driver, simply exchange insurance information, call the police and wait for them to arrive.
- Call the police: Under Kentucky law, drivers must report an accident if it involves a fatality, serious injury, or if one or both cars are no longer drivable. Even if your accident involves none of these factors, it is still a good idea to get the police involved if possible.
- Talk to the police officer and request a copy of the accident report: If the police arrive at the accident scene, answer the officer's questions truthfully. After the accident, get a copy of the police report. An accident report can provide important information, as it will document the crash from the perspective of a neutral party.
After the accident
- Seek medical attention: It is very important to go to a doctor as soon as possible after your car accident. Even if you are not in any pain, it is important for a doctor to examine you and see if you were injured. The reason for this is simple. If you wait weeks or months after an accident to seek medical attention, the insurance company will claim that the accident did not cause your injuries.
- Attend all doctor appointments and physical therapy sessions: After an accident, keeping accurate medical records will be critical, both in showing your own progress, but in documenting your medical expenses and other damages. Too often, people stop going to the doctor after an accident. This is not helpful, is you will not have complete, accurate records of your injuries.
- Report the accident to your insurance company: You need to report the accident to your insurance company as soon as possible after the accident. If you do not do this, your insurer may deny the claim.
- Talk to a personal injury lawyer about your injuries: After going to a doctor, and before talking to an insurance company, talk to a lawyer about your case. An experienced personal injury attorney will be able to deal with the insurance companies and develop a strong claim for your medical expenses, lost income, pain and suffering and other damages.
For generations, people throughout Grayson, Carter County and the surrounding areas of Eastern Kentucky have relied on Wilhoit Law to provide strong, skilled representation in all types of personal injury and car accident claims.