A car accident, even a minor one, is a stressful event. In the cloud of confusion after a car crash, it can be hard to think clearly and to know what to do. But there are important questions you should ask that can protect your rights and help maximize your financial recovery.
The first thing to do after a car accident is to check to see if anyone was injured. Start by checking the people inside your vehicle. Confirm that they are conscious, and ask about any possible injuries. If anyone has any visible injuries or is showing signs of distress, contact police and EMS and seek medical attention.
Once you have made sure everyone in your vehicle is okay, get out of your car and approach the other vehicle to ask if anyone needs immediate medical assistance.
Unless the accident was a hit-and-run, the other driver will be on the scene and will be just as flustered as you are. Regardless of who you think was at fault, do your best to remain calm.
Ask the other driver for their contact and insurance information. If the police are on scene, they will take information from all drivers and passengers involved in the accident and will use it to prepare a police report.
If the police are not on scene, use the camera on your phone to take pictures. Ask the other driver for their phone number and email address, and take a picture of their license plate. You can also take photos of the positions of the vehicles, weather conditions, and any traffic control devices such as stop signs or traffic lights.
The moments after a car accident are critical to ensuring that anyone who was injured receives proper medical care, but also because in the time immediately after the accident, the road conditions are nearly identical to when the accident occurred. Make a note of weather and road conditions, lighting, traffic conditions, and any other factors that could have played a role in causing the crash.
Your primary concern should be for the safety and well-being of anyone hurt in the wreck. After you have verified that anyone who was injured is receiving necessary medical attention and have notified the police, contact your loved ones to let them know what happened. You should also contact an auto accident attorney to determine the next steps to take, and your insurance company to report the claim.
Talking to and cooperating with your insurance company after a car accident is important. Your own car insurance adjuster can help you with car repairs, renting a car, and medical bills.
But be careful in your discussion with insurance representatives, especially the at-fault driver’s insurance company. While you are required to notify your own insurance company that you were involved in an accident, remember that conversations with the at-fault driver’s insurance company are not legally privileged. The at-fault driver’s insurance company may use your statements to try to impact the benefits you are entitled to receive. Remember: insurance companies are in the business of making money.
Before speaking with an insurance representative about any injuries you sustained, especially the at-fault driver’s insurance company, you should first speak with the experienced auto accident attorney at Muth Law, P.C. We can advise you on things that you should and should not say to the insurance company, and tricks that insurance adjusters use to deny coverage, claim that you were at fault for the accident, or reduce the amount of compensation you can receive. You should decline to provide a recorded statement, even if the insurance representative says it’s just for “accuracy.” There will be plenty of time to provide a recorded statement if one is necessary, and you should only do so after having met with your own lawyer.
Injuries sustained in a car accident can be serious, and you must protect your rights. The personal injury lawyers at Muth Law have more than 40 years of experience handling auto accident injury claims and successfully recovering compensation for our clients. We will carefully analyze your situation and provide advice to protect your rights.
Before you sign anything from the insurance company, contact us to discuss your case and the compensation you might be entitled to receive. We will objectively evaluate the accident, gather evidence to support your claim, and negotiate with the insurance to maximize your financial compensation.
At Muth Law, we understand Michigan’s complex insurance laws. We negotiate with insurance companies every day to maximize our client’s economic recovery. We are proud to represent people throughout Michigan who have been hurt in car accidents and we offer free, confidential consultations to help our clients decide what to do next.
Muth Law is based in Ann Arbor and proudly represents people in Ypsilanti, Ann Arbor, Washtenaw County, and throughout Michigan. We handle most car accident injury claims on a contingency fee, which means you will never pay us an attorney fee until we recover money for you.
Please contact us to schedule a free, confidential consultation regarding your car accident injury claim by calling 734-481-8800 or sending us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org. We look forward to serving your family.