Being the victim of a car accident can leave you feeling on-edge, vulnerable and completely drained. So, if you’ve incurred physical or emotional injuries in the wake of an auto accident caused by another party’s negligent driving, you’re well within your rights to seek restitution. However, depending on the steps you take after the accident, you may have a difficult time collecting. Anyone looking to be made whole in the aftermath of a car accident would do well to heed the following tips.
Immediately Contact the Police
There are numerous reasons you’ll need to contact the police in the wake of a car accident. For starters, when filing a report with your insurance company or taking legal action against the responsible party, you’ll need to have an official report. If it’s discovered that the police were never contacted, you’re practically guaranteed to run into problems with both your insurer and legal representative(s).
Secondly, you may be required by law to do so. In most states, police must be notified of all car accidents that result in injuries or automobile damage that exceeds a certain dollar amount. That being the case, failure to contact police may constitute illegal activity on your part and open the door for a variety of legal consequences.
Photograph Injuries and Vehicle Damage
Photographing any injuries that your or your passengers have incurred and any damage caused to your vehicle can be a boon to your case. Whether you’re submitting insurance claims or taking the responsible party to court, photographic evidence of the accident’s aftermath can do you a world of good. So, provided you’re comfortably able to do so, take stock of any injuries or vehicle damage the accident has brought forth and proceed to photograph them.
Record Your Version of Events in Detail
An accurate and detailed record of your version of events can provide your insurer with a solid account of what transpired and help speed your case along. Additionally, if you file suit against the responsible party, it is imperative that you record your version of what happened.
To ensure that your recollection of the accident is as accurate as possible, make sure to record it as soon after the incident as you can. If you’re unable to type it out, make an audio recording that can be transcribed at a later time. Just remember – the sooner you record what happened, the clearer your recollection is likely to be.
Obtain Estimates for Vehicle Damage
To help give your insurer a clear idea of how much the damage to your vehicle will cost to repair, obtain estimates for the work at your earliest convenience. Depending on how much damage has been done, the cost of repairing said damage and the age of the vehicle, your insurer may opt to pay you the current value of the car rather than spring for repairs. However, in the absence of estimates, they may be unclear on which course of action to take.
Estimates are also good to have if you decide to sue the responsible party for the cost of damages. Without estimates from seasoned professionals, the court is likely to be skeptical of the amount you’re seeking from the defendant. Furthermore, if you have your vehicle repaired in advance of the court date, make sure to bring the estimates and the final bills.
Contact an Attorney
If the responsible party and/or insurance companies have proven less than amenable to your post-accident needs, it may be in your best interest to reach out to an attorney. A knowledgeable attorney will be able to provide invaluable assistance during this difficult period and alleviate a tremendous amount of stress, ensuring that you’re able to focus your energy on recovery. Mile High City-based accident victims in search of solid legal representation are urged to get in touch with experienced Denver car accident attorneys.
In the wake of a car accident, it’s only natural that you’d seek restitution. If you and/or your vehicle have incurred damage as a result of someone else’s negligent driving, there’s no reason you shouldn’t seek out any money to which you’re entitled. Of course, depending on the circumstances surrounding the accident and how cooperative other parties are, you may have a difficult time obtaining restitution. Should this prove to be the case, make sure to heed the advice outlined above.