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RI Car and Vehicle Accidents | Dos and Don’ts For Accident Victims

Statistics show that most Americans will be in at least one car accident during their lifetime, and car accidents are also the leading cause of death for people 34 years old and younger. These facts can be attributed to a lot of things: drunk driving, cell phone use while behind the wheel, failure to wear seatbelts. Whatever the reasons, the fact remains that you yourself may be involved in a auto accident when you least expect it.

With this in mind, here are 8 important Dos and Don’ts for auto accident victims. These tips can help guide you should you be involved in an auto accident and might be thinking of hiring a car accident lawyer.

4 Dos for Car Accident Victims

1. Seek medical treatment after the accident if you are injured. Adrenaline or shock might make you feel like you’re just fine, but you still need a doctor to confirm that you’re okay. If you’re not feeling well, describe to your physician the injuries you have. Don’t exaggerate. Just make sure you completely relate what you’ve been through and where you need help.

2. If asked by your doctor to come back for a recheck, do so. Again, you might feel like you’re already okay, but. It’s best to follow doctor’s orders

3. Have all your medical bills billed to your health insurance company. The at-fault insurance company will eventually pay the bills but that doesn’t happen until the case is settled. In the meantime, your health insurance company will handle your medical bills.

4. Take pictures that show any property damage your vehicle has due to the accident. It’s good practice to have visual evidence of the damage for documentation purposes.

4 Don’ts for Car Accident Victims

1. Don’t give a recorded statement of what happened to anyone without first consulting with a car accident lawyer. This is only to make sure you don’t say anything that might negatively affect your case should you decide to pursue a claim.

2. Don’t sign authorizations for the release of your medical records. Again, without proper legal advice from an expert car accident lawyer, signing anything is never a good idea. Before you give anybody authorization to do anything, make sure you completely understand your rights.

3. However tempting, don’t post anything about the accident or your injuries on any social networking sites. Under no circumstances tweet or post on Facebook about how you were in a car accident, unless you get prior approval from a car accident lawyer. Try not to share any accident information with anyone.

4. Don’t write about the accident, your injuries, or medical treatment in your diary or journal. Again, don’t create any written or recorded account of your experience without consulting with a car accident lawyer. This is not because you’re thinking of filing a lawsuit, but just to make sure you don’t do anything that might sabotage your claim in case you do decide you want to file one.

Experiencing a car accident can be a traumatic and overwhelming experience. Here are some dos and don’ts for car accident victims to help guide them through the aftermath:

Dos:

  1. Check for Injuries:
    • Check yourself and others for injuries. Call emergency services immediately if there are injuries.
  2. Move to a Safe Location:
    • If possible and safe to do so, move vehicles to the side of the road to avoid further accidents.
  3. Call the Police:
    • Report the accident to the police, even if it’s minor. A police report can be crucial for insurance claims.
  4. Exchange Information:
    • Exchange contact and insurance information with the other parties involved. Include names, addresses, phone numbers, insurance details, and license plate numbers.
  5. Document the Scene:
    • Take pictures of the accident scene, including vehicle damage, license plates, and the surrounding area. Note road conditions, weather, and any traffic signs or signals.
  6. Get Witness Information:
    • If there are witnesses, obtain their contact information. They may be valuable in case there are disputes about the accident.
  7. Seek Medical Attention:
    • Even if injuries seem minor, seek medical attention. Some injuries may not be immediately apparent.
  8. Notify Your Insurance Company:
    • Report the accident to your insurance company as soon as possible. Provide them with accurate and detailed information.
  9. Keep Records:
    • Keep a record of all communication related to the accident, including conversations with insurance companies, medical providers, and the police.
  10. Follow Up on Medical Treatment:
    • Attend all medical appointments and follow the prescribed treatment plan. This helps establish a clear link between the accident and your injuries.

Don’ts:

  1. Admit Fault:
    • Avoid admitting fault or making statements that could be construed as an admission of guilt. Stick to the facts when talking to the police and other parties involved.
  2. Leave the Scene:
    • Do not leave the scene of the accident without exchanging information with the other parties and reporting it to the police.
  3. Neglect to Call the Police:
    • Even for minor accidents, it’s essential to involve the police. A police report provides an official record of the incident.
  4. Discuss Settlements at the Scene:
    • Avoid discussing settlement or signing any documents at the scene. Consult with your insurance company and, if necessary, seek legal advice.
  5. Forget to Collect Information:
    • Don’t forget to gather information from the other parties involved, as well as any potential witnesses. This information is crucial for insurance claims and investigations.
  6. Delay Seeking Medical Attention:
    • Don’t postpone seeking medical attention. Some injuries may not manifest immediately, and prompt medical care can be essential for your well-being and any potential legal claims.
  7. Assume No Injuries:
    • Even if you feel fine initially, some injuries may have delayed symptoms. It’s crucial to get a medical evaluation.
  8. Discuss the Accident on Social Media:
    • Refrain from discussing the accident or your injuries on social media. Anything you say may be used against you in a legal context.
  9. Accept a Quick Settlement:
    • Be cautious about accepting quick settlement offers from insurance companies. Consult with a legal professional before agreeing to any settlements.
  10. Ignore Legal Advice:
    • If needed, consult with an attorney, especially if there are disputes or complications arising from the accident. Legal advice can help protect your rights and interests.

Remember, it’s essential to remain calm and collected after a car accident. Following these dos and don’ts can help ensure your safety, protect your legal rights, and facilitate the claims process.

Unfortunately, auto accidents are a fact of life for Americans. Nobody wants to be involved in one, but the fact still remains that the more you know, the better decisions you can make. Consulting with a car accident lawyer is just one way of making sure you have all the information you need.

Legal Notice per Rules of Professional Responsibility: The Rhode Island Supreme Court licenses all lawyers and attorneys in the general practice of law, but does not license or certify any lawyer / attorney as an expert or specialist in any field of practice. While this firm maintains joint responsibility, most cases of this type are referred to other attorneys for principle responsibility.

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