No one plans on being involved in a traffic collision, which is why any
auto accident can be a frightening experience, especially when they result
in injuries. Because what you do or say following a wreck can impact your
health, communication with insurance companies, and your right to recover
compensation for property damage or personal injury, planning for the
unexpected or taking immediate action after a crash has already happened
Since 1996, our Kansas City car accident lawyers at Montee Law Firm, P.C.
have helped thousands of clients throughout Kansas City and the surrounding
region after they were harmed in preventable accidents, including all types of
car accidents and vehicle collisions. Over the years, we have seen how certain mistakes
or issues can threaten the rights of injured victims and complicate their
ability to recover the financial compensation they need. As such, we wanted
to provide a helpful checklist of important things you should remember
following an auto accident:
Call the police – Not everyone enjoys contact with law enforcement, but calling
authorities following a car accident is one of the wisest decisions you
can make. Not only will this ensure that emergency medical services will
respond to the scene if needed, it can also help with the collection of
information and evidence. A law enforcement officer can speak to all involved
parties, including witnesses, and collect their statements and information.
This information will be part of a police report that provides an objective
account of what happened during a crash.
Never admit fault – When speaking with any other drivers involved in your crash or
police, never admit fault. Doing so can be seen as an admission of causing
the accident, which can be used against you should you decide to pursue
a personal injury case against the other driver. Even though it may be
a natural reaction to apologize or say “sorry,” you should
avoid this as well, as insurance companies will be quick to point out
that you are admitting fault. Even if you think you may have caused the
accident, remember there may be factors you are unaware of that show another
driver is truly at fault.
Collect information – Even if a law enforcement officer is present or there doesn’t
appear to be any damage or injuries to anyone involved, you should always
collect as much information as you can, if you are able to do so. This
includes exchanging contact and insurance information with all parties
involved. You can also get statements and contact information from witnesses.
Be sure to record in your notes the vehicles involved, driver’s
license and license plate numbers, and where the accident took place.
You can also take photos of vehicle damage, the scene of the accident,
and any visible injuries.
Seek a medical evaluation – Seeking a medical evaluation, or following up with a doctor if
you received medical attention after the crash, is critical to your health.
Often, victims of car accidents don’t experience pain or symptoms
right away, or may think that their injuries are not serious enough to
warrant medical attention. This can be dangerous, as there are certain
injuries which can quickly become life-threatening if left unaddressed,
such as brain injuries. By seeking a medical evaluation as soon as you
can, you can rule out serious injuries and receive treatment you need.
You also limit the insurance company’s ability to argue that you
were not hurt in the wreck simply because you waited to see a doctor,
even if you were in pain all along.
Trusting insurers – Insurance companies are in business to make money, and they go
to great lengths to pay injured victims as little as they can. This means
that when an insurance adjuster or representative from the at-fault driver’s
insurance company calls you, they may be try to get you to say things
that can be used against you, or may quickly try to settle before you
know the full scope of your damages and losses. Don’t trust the
insurance company, and don’t speak with them. Remember, you can
have a lawyer handle communication with insurance companies on your behalf.
Call a lawyer – These most important thing you can do after an auto wreck is to
bring your case to the attention of an experienced lawyer. You want to
make sure that the lawyer you seek has experience in personal injury law,
and that they know how to protect your rights and interests at all stages
of the process. At Montee Law Firm, P.C., we focus exclusively on representing
the injured, and have recovered hundreds of millions of dollars in compensation
on their behalves. When victims reach out to us, we immediately set to
work on reviewing their case, discussing their rights and options, and
explaining what we can do to handle all the legal work involved. We provide
the guidance, support, and representation clients need so that they can
focus on their recoveries as we fight for the compensation they deserve.
No matter what happened after your car accident, it is important to learn
about your rights and options. That’s why our legal team is readily
available to help as soon as possible after a crash occurs. We even offer
weekend, evening, hospital and in-home appointments.
Contact us today for a FREE consultation with a lawyer from our firm.