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What You Should Know to Protect Your Rights After an Accident

If you’ve ever been in a car accident, you know that one of the first thoughts is, “What do I do now?” First and foremost, you must make sure that you and anyone else that may be injured have medical attention. Police presence may or may not be available according to state laws. While some states may require a police report for all accidents, some may not allow police to come out to every car crash, so you have to take the initiative to get everything you need to get compensated afterward.

Gather Information

Now that we have cameras on our phones, getting driver’s license and insurance information is as easy as taking a picture. Whether you write it or snap it, get the pertinent contact details from everyone involved. If witnesses are available, get their names, contact numbers and record their accounts of the incident.

Take Pictures

This can be very valuable for later investigation. Get photos of your car, the other vehicles, the surrounding area and any debris around the site. Take them from all perspectives that you can get to safely. It may also be helpful to take pictures of any injuries you’ve sustained.

Contact Your Insurance Company

It is important to contact your insurance company as soon as possible after your car accident. Failure to notify them may be a violation of your policy agreement.

Request Copies

If a police report was filed, you may request a copy. In fact, the officers will probably give you information on how to get it and when it will be available while they are at the scene. While a police report may assign fault for the accident, it is not included in every case. However, if a traffic citation was issued, it usually means a law was broken leading up to the crash. Understanding who received citations and for what can be an important detail for determining liability.

Save Documents

Keep copies of everything in a safe place. If you received medical attention, you’ll want to keep all documentation from your visit, along with any diagnosis, instructions, treatment plans and prescriptions.

Contact an Attorney

Laws vary from state to state. It is almost impossible to understand exactly what damages are due to you unless you are an experienced attorney in the state where your accident occurred. Even if the at-fault driver’s insurance company seems to be eager to compensate you, do not instantly accept a settlement. Contact a car accident lawyer in Lakeland, FL to make sure your rights are protected.

Thanks to David & Philpot, P.L. for their insight into personal injury claims and protecting your rights after an accident.

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