What to Do After a Car AccidentRequest Free Consultation
Car accidents can be a frightening and stressful experience, but it’s important to stay calm and take the necessary steps to ensure your safety and protect your legal rights. Knowing what to do immediately after a car accident and in the days after can help you avoid making costly mistakes and ensure that you receive the compensation you deserve.
If you’ve suffered injuries in a car accident, the Denver car accident attorneys at Fuicelli & Lee suggest taking the following steps:
What to Do Immediately After a Car Accident
The minutes after a car accident can be overwhelming, especially if serious injuries are involved. Here are some steps to take immediately after a car accident.
Seek medical attention
Most importantly, you’ll want first to assess the injuries of all parties and call medical services. Car accidents can cause serious and catastrophic injuries. You may not know the full extent of your injuries until hours, days, or even weeks after your accident.
Even if emergency services came to the scene of the accident, you should follow up with your own doctor. Follow any medical treatment your doctor recommends, including medications and procedures. Seeking medical attention and following your doctor’s orders helps document your injuries and shows that you take your car accident injuries seriously.
Call the police
Under Colorado law, anyone involved in a car accident with injuries, death, or property damage must report it to the police and remain at the scene of the accident until the police arrive and have completed an investigation. Ask the police how you can get a copy of the police report. Having a police report also helps your car accident lawyer determine fault.
Take as many photos as possible to help document the scene of the accident. Take photos of the accident, the vehicles involved, any road hazards that may have contributed to the accident, and injuries drivers or passengers sustained. This documentation can help officials determine the pertinent details of the case later on.
Gather contact information
Make sure to write down the names and phone numbers of each party involved in the accident, as well as any witnesses. Exchange insurance details with the other parties as well.
What to do in the Days After a Car Accident
In days following a car accident, you will want to take further steps to ensure your safety and preserve any evidence should you wish to seek compensation for your damages. Here are some steps to take immediately after a car accident.
Watch for signs of injury
Even if you don’t show obvious signs of injury at the scene, monitor for any symptoms in the days and weeks following the accident. Pain in the neck and shoulders, headaches, dizziness, numbness, and more can indicate injuries post-accident. If you experience any of these symptoms, seek medical attention.
Keep a copy of all your medical expenses, including doctor or emergency department bills, medication, physical therapy, surgery, or medical equipment related to your accident injury.
Contact your insurance company
Most insurance companies require policyholders to report a car accident within two to three days after the crash. Failing to do so could result in the insurance company denying your claim and you could lose out on the compensation you deserve.
Insurance companies will often get you to admit fault. They may also offer a release form as a way to move your claim forward quickly but don’t take the bait. Admitting fault and signing the release form could prevent you from receiving the full amount of coverage you will need after an accident, especially if you have injuries.
Although you don’t want to sign any releases, definitely contact both your car insurance company and representatives for any additional insurance policies that might apply, such as an umbrella liability policy.
Document lost income or wages
If your car accident-related injuries prevent you from working, you may be eligible for compensation for lost wages or income. Save pay stubs and any communications with your company regarding your injury-related absences.
Contact a car accident attorney
Whenever you are involved in a car accident, you should contact a personal injury lawyer with experience negotiating with insurance companies. Insurers are notorious for making lowball settlement offers that don’t reflect the true value of the damages you suffered. Before you agree to a settlement offer from an insurance company, have your case evaluated by an attorney in a free consultation.
Common Mistakes to Avoid When Filing a Car Accident Claim
When filing a car accident claim in Colorado, it is important to avoid the following common mistakes:
- Waiting too long to file a claim
- Refusing medical attention for your injuries
- Admitting fault for the accident
- Accepting a settlement offer without consulting an attorney
Compensation Available in a Car Accident Case
If you suffered injuries in a car accident in Colorado, you may be entitled to compensation for your injuries and damages.
Types of Compensation
There are several types of compensation available in a car accident case in Colorado:
- Medical expenses: This includes all medical bills related to your injuries, such as hospitalization, surgery, medication, and rehabilitation.
- Lost wages: If you are unable to work due to your injuries, you may be entitled to compensation for your lost income.
- Pain and suffering: This includes compensation for physical and emotional pain, such as anxiety, depression, and loss of enjoyment of life.
- Property damage: If a car accident damaged your vehicle or other property was damaged in the accident, you may be entitled to compensation for the cost of repairs or replacement.
Factors Determining Compensation
The amount of compensation you can receive in a car accident case in Colorado depends on several factors, including:
- The severity of your injuries
- The cost of your medical treatment
- The impact of your injuries on your ability to work and enjoy life
- The degree of fault of each party involved in the accident
Colorado follows a modified comparative negligence rule, which means your compensation may be reduced if you are found partially at fault for the accident. For more information about modified comparative negligence, contact a car accident lawyer.
Contact Car Accident Lawyer at Fuicelli & Lee Today
Car accidents can disrupt all aspects of your life. Taking the right steps immediately after and in the days leading up to an accident can greatly improve your chances of recovering compensation for your damages.
If you suffered injuries in a Colorado car accident, do not hesitate to contact the car accident lawyers at Fuicelli & Lee. Contact us today for a free consultation and case evaluation.