Legal Steps To Take After A Car Accident
It’s normal to have a complete blackout after a car accident which leaves you entirely clueless about the next step of action. You’d have your emotions high and pains all over your body. Yet the only question that matters is what to do next? We’ve put together a list of legal actions to take after being involved in a car accident. Read along and note these steps to keep yourself cautious of the steps to take after a car accident.
Stay At The Accident Scene
Even as traumatic as an accident scene may be, victims shouldn’t exit the scene until it’s appropriate to do so. Your first instinct or response might be to get yourself cleaned up avoiding the crowd at the scene. Doing this, however, could result in a scenario where the details of the crash become uncertain in the case of a legal proceeding.
Leaving when someone sustains an injury or perhaps in the case of death could attract grievous allegations against you.
Ensure you remain at the scene irrespective of how fatal the accident looks or the reaction from the crowd. You wouldn’t want to be charged or face the criminal penalties that come with an alleged hit-and-run case.
Call The Police: Report Yourself In
In the case of an injury, car damage, or death, you should call the police to report the car accident. As absurd as this may sound, reporting yourself in the case of a fatal or damage car accident is the appropriate legal step to take.
By placing the call to the police, you automatically gain some leverage taking charge of the situation.
It is legally advised that you suggest the police files a car accident report stating your name and descriptive information of the clash.
It’s not enough that you ask that a police report be filled over the phone. Request that the police officer comes down to the scene for proper investigation and order. Getting the police officer’s name and badge would be a plus.
Exchange Contact Information & Talk To Witnesses
Get the license plate numbers, names, and addresses of the victims involved if possible for proper documentation. In the case of damage to the vehicle, get their insurance company information from the driver. Share your information likewise to ensure you’re within reach whenever your presence is required by the authorities or insurance company.
Try talking to witnesses and get their information if possible to be rest assured that there wouldn’t be a fabrication of lies against you.
Ask around for details of what the locals witnessed and if they’ve ever been past or recent accident occurrences at that location. The witness statements might seem extreme but it’s better to be careful than sorry in the future.
Get A Property Damage Valuation
Having contacted your insurance company, acquiring the property damage valuation is your next legal step after a car accident. Reach out to your insurance company requesting the summary of the damage valuation to get a market value pricing of your vehicle’s worth. In very few instances when you’re not satisfied with the valuation, you can push further.
Request for two copies of replacement quotes or independent repair estimates and present them when the need arises. During severe damage, without the desired property damage value or agreement on your car’s value, hire a litigation attorney. Ensure you keep the details of the accident to yourself and only in confidence to your issuer or attorney.
Shun Early Settlement Offers
Most insurance companies enjoy taking advantage of seemingly vulnerable car accidents. These insurance firms try to sway the victims using enticing plans with several clauses to get their attention. Be careful and shun all attempts by insurance companies to offer you early settlement without proper details of the incident.
Before accepting insurance aid from the other party’s company, check that your injuries have been well attended to and treated. Note that some internal injuries never surface until they’ve attained their peak after a few days, weeks, or months. Never be too quick to settle for offers without verifying with your attorney or medical team in the case of injuries.
Reach Out To An Attorney With Car Accident Specialty
You’d realize that there’s more to a car accident than most people thought a few years back. Depending on the gravity of the collision, you might need an attorney to help with the case. During a case of an injured victim, reach out to an attorney with a car accident speciality. An attorney representative knows the legal procedures of ensuring the victim is administered treatment accordingly.
For the best car accident lawyer Gold Coast has to offer, contact Car Accident Helpline for an experienced car accident attorney with specialities in injury law and insurance claims for your accident cases. With an affordable contingency fee, be rest assured that your car accident case will be handled professionally.
If you’re not from the Gold Coast region, make sure to do your research on a suitable lawyer or solicitor that specialises in this area and is closer to where you’re based. As much as you may want the car accident to be well and truly over with, it does need to be handled by the right type of professional.