If you are involved in an automobile accident and the collision is the fault of the other driver, the following are some guidelines you should follow:
- Assist the injured: If someone is injured, call for help. Make the injured person comfortable, but do not move them.
- Insist on a police investigation: In many cases, there are no witnesses, and the other driver will have a different version of the accident. A police report can help establish the exact cause of the accident.
- Do not move your vehicle: Unless your vehicle poses an immediate hazard to traffic, it is important that your car stay in the same position until the police officer has a chance to examine it.
- If you are injured, tell the police officer: If you fail to mention your injuries to the police officer, it may create suspicion later in the mind of the insurance adjuster.
- Obtain the name, telephone number and address of witnesses: Immediately look for eyewitnesses before they leave the scene and get their telephone number and address.
- Obtain medical treatment: If you are injured, obtain medical treatment immediately. An injury may become substantially worse if not treated, and an adjuster will question the seriousness of a claim if it did not require immediate medical treatment.
- Do not try to settle your own claim: An attorney will be able to obtain substantially more compensation for your than will be offered by an adjuster, even after payment of your attorney’s fees. Never sign a release and settlement of your claim without the advice of legal counsel.
- Do not give a statement to any insurance adjuster: If you are going to hire an attorney, do not make any statements to any adjuster (even your own) without going through the attorney first. You may seriously prejudice your case without even knowing it.
- Disclose all previous accidents to your attorney: Your attorney cannot adequately represent you unless you have provided him with all information regarding past injuries.