Kirkland Car Accident Attorney
Getting in a car accident is never planned and never fun. But how you respond to the situation can make a big difference in your ability to recover from your injuries and get on with your life.
If you believe the other driver was at fault for the accident then you can help yourself and any claim you may make against the driver’s insurance company by gathering as much evidence at the scene as possible.
Even if your injuries don’t seem serious immediately following the crash, you should take the time to assess how you are feeling and get checked out by a medical professional.
When you do make a claim to recover for the damage to your vehicle and any injuries you suffered, you want to present credible documentation that supports your version of the events and detailed medical evidence establishing your injuries and how you have been affected.
At the Law Offices of Joseph Rome, we know that thorough preparation helps our clients get fairly compensated for the losses they have experienced. Our Kirkland car accident attorney understands how insurance companies try to settle claims and does what is necessary to get our clients the best results.
What to Do Immediately After a Car Accident
Immediately after a car accident it is not surprising that you will be upset. But the more calm and rational you can remain, the better you can help yourself in case of disputes that arise later. Your first concern must be personal safety and the safety of others. Then you need to think like a detective and gather as much useful information about the accident as possible.
The following steps are recommended when you get in a car accident.
- Get to safety. Move your car out of traffic to the side of the road if it is safe to do so. Turn on emergency flashers. Put out flares or cones if you have them. If you cannot move your car and it is not safe to remain in the vehicle, leave it and move to the side of the road behind the guard rail or several feet off the roadway.
- Call 911. Except in the most minor of impacts, you will want to have a police report when there has been property damage or injuries. The police report is a very timely record of the events that took place and is credible evidence to help your claim.
- Get contact information. The police may also collect some of this information but it is good to have a separate source. Be sure and get names, phone numbers, and insurance companies. Try to get pictures of driver’s licenses, insurance cards, and license plates including the make and model of the vehicles.
- Be mindful of what you say. You do not want to utter anything voluntarily that may later be used against a personal injury claim.
- Document information about the accident. Take pictures of the cars involved and how they are positioned if you can do it safely. Take pictures of anything that was damaged in the crash. If there were witnesses get their contact information. As soon as possible write down everything you remember about the accident including road conditions, weather, and time of day.
- See a doctor. It’s just a good idea to be evaluated by a medical professional after a car accident. Medical reports help establish that you were injured in the accident and can lay the foundation for injuries that may develop over time.
- Notify your insurance company. Accidents need to be promptly reported to insurance companies to trigger coverage.
- File an accident report. If a police officer did not complete a collision report you will be required to if there is at least $1,000 damage to any one vehicle or anybody is injured.
Determining the Extent of Your Injuries
You may realize immediately that you have been injured in a car accident. Some injuries will be obvious. But there may be other non-visible injuries that can still be very serious and have long-lasting effects. That’s why you always want to visit a doctor and make sure you explain that you have been in an auto accident.
Injuries that can occur in motor vehicle accidents where the extent of injury may not be fully known until some later time include:
- neck injuries
- back injuries
- brain injuries
- internal injuries
Because insurance companies will press to settle claims quickly, it is important to have a good understanding of the nature of your injuries and how long you will be affected by them. Trauma to the head during a car accident can result in injuries to the brain which have severe consequences right after the crash and then can lead to further injury resulting in permanent impairment over time.
How to Make a Personal Injury Claim after a Car Accident
The accident was not your fault. Your car is wrecked and you were injured. Who is going to pay for the damage?
Most likely you will be dealing with the insurance company of any other driver at fault. You don’t want to talk to an insurance company representative until you have received legal advice. That initial contact is very important and you need to make sure your rights are protected.
Your lawyer will identify any issues that an insurance company might use to minimize your claim and be able to respond to those issues so they don’t negatively impact your ability to recover.
You must prove to the insurance company that their driver was at least partly responsible for the accident. Then you must establish the extent of your injuries and how you have been affected as a result. The quality of the evidence you provide in support of your claim will determine the amount of your recovery.
Preparing a claim that is well organized and supported by credible documentation can often convince insurance companies to settle your claim and avoid the additional delay and expense of a court proceeding.
When you work with the Kirkland auto accident lawyer at the Law Offices of Joseph Rome, your claim will be supported by convincing evidence that shows insurance companies exactly what they need to see to recognize the validity of your claim and to compensate you fully for your losses.