Even good drivers can have an auto accident. For many people, even a minor accident often becomes a confusing, frustrating experience. There is no way to know everything that you must do to protect yourself and your personal interests after an auto accident. Find a competent personal injury attorney to help you navigate the reams of paperwork and phone calls that you need to settle your accident damages claim. First, take time to consider the physical and financial consequences of an auto accident before you leave the scene.
Your first step after an auto accident is to make an appointment to see a doctor. Never tell the other driver or public safety personnel that you have no injuries. A rear end collision at normal city street speeds can cause long lasting or permanent injuries. They may not be evident immediately, like broken bones and head injuries that require an emergency room visit. However, 24 to 48 hours later, you may find that you now have a nagging pain in some part of your body or even symptoms that indicate internal injuries.
Regardless of who is at fault, as soon as the initial shock wears off, you and the other driver will become adversaries. Never admit fault to public safety officers on the scene. Their job is to determine the facts and prepare an accident report. Any statements that you make can become part of the written accident report. Admitting fault could make it difficult to get a fair settlement for your losses. You can always state that you are not sure how the accident happened. Since you are most likely in shock, this is the most accurate statement that you can make.
Make sure that you get the other driver's registration and insurance information. Find out from public safety officers where to get the accident report. Then make an appointment to see a personal injury attorney immediately. You will probably want to settle your claim quickly and restore some sense of normalcy to your life. Without an attorney by your side, your insurance company or theirs could prod you into giving away your rights and valuable benefits that you deserve.
Avoid these mistakes and protect yourself. Take steps to make sure your auto accident claim gets settled fairly. If you suffered serious injuries, hiring a personal injury attorney is the best thing you can do after a car accident.