What Should I Do If I Have Been Injured In A Car Accident?
First and foremost, we hope you’re never in a car accident. But try as we may be safe drivers, the roads are never ours alone to travel—we share them with other drivers, and drivers make mistakes. In short, accidents happen. If you’re reading this, then you’re probably not involved in a car accident at this very moment, and that’s a good thing. However, maybe you were recently in an accident, or you’re just the kind of person who likes to be prepared, and that’s a great thing! If you are the latter, then take the time to find a car accident attorney right now, while you’re not injured, so if that day comes, you’ll know who to call to help you. Getting an auto accident attorney involved as quickly as possible after your accident will be advantageous to your case and your claim.
Now, if you’ve been injured in a car accident, what do you do? What should you do? Your first action should always be—take care of your health and the health of others. If you are able, call for emergency services, an ambulance, and the police, and check to see if other parties are injured, either in your car or another vehicle that was involved. If you are incapacitated but can still communicate, make it known to any witnesses that you need assistance, and have them call. The bottom line—take care of your health first.
But you don’t feel injured; you feel fine. If that is the case, call emergency services anyway, as well as the police. The police should always be called if you’ve been injured, even if your injuries are minor. Having the police on the scene is good for multiple reasons. One, the police can draw attention to the scene with emergency flares and their flashing lights, which will alert other motorists, and help them avoid the accident scene. Two, the police will write up an official accident report, and this report will be useful for your case, and eventually your claim. If you are able, canvas the scene for witnesses; take their contact information and double-check it, because their testimony could make the difference in your claim, and especially in your case if you file a suit to gather your rightful compensation.
Always contact your auto accident attorney or personal injury attorney if you have one. And hopefully, you have taken our advice from above and researched attorneys so you know exactly who to call when an accident happens. You’ll need a personal injury attorney on your side as you move your case forward. Your personal injury attorney will negotiate with the insurance companies on your behalf. Never do an interview with any insurance adjuster before speaking to your attorney, because anything you say can stick. If you tell them that you feel fine, but then a week later you have tremendous pain and find out that you have a back injury or something worse, the adjuster will use your initial comments against you, to try to decrease the amount they have to payout. Remember, an insurance adjuster’s allegiance is first to the insurance company, and second to you. They will always be looking for ways to refuse your claim or at least lower its value. When you have a personal injury attorney working with you, they’ll not only negotiate with the insurance company, but will also conduct an investigation of their own, interview all witnesses to the accident, interview police, gather evidence, and build your case!
Should I Take Photos Of The Accident Scene?
Yes, you should take photos of the accident scene, and everything else as well. Photographs are like gold when it comes to building your case. You want as many of them as possible. The accident scene, of course, will be a major theme in your accident photo collection, but what does that mean specifically, when we use the word ‘scene’? The ‘scene’ is everything, at least in the context of this discussion. The scene includes the vehicles involved and the surrounding area.
To cover the entire scene, you’ll want to photograph the vehicles involved of course. Take multiple photographs of every vehicle involved in the accident and be sure to get multiple shots of each vehicle from a wide assortment of angles. Get close-up shots, as well as wide shots that show the streets, buildings, and other vehicles as well to get a sense of how the accident came to happen right there, in that particular spot. Next, take photographs of the street, road, etc. in which the accident occurred. Take photographs from a good distance behind the crash site to show the paths the vehicles may have taken to arrive at the point of impact, and then reverse it—take photos from far in front of the vehicles to show the other areas of approach or paths the vehicles could have taken to arrive at the crash point.
Take photographs of any road marks, tire skid marks, accident debris, or earth that was kicked up by the vehicles right before impact. All of these marks, debris, etc. can help to tell the story to a jury, and assist them with visualizing how the crash happened as your personal injury attorney explains it in court. Seeing is believing, and though no jury member was present at your crash site when the accident occurred, any visual aid you can provide will be incredibly useful. And let’s not forget that there’s a strong probability most if not all of the jurors have been in a frightening auto accident themselves, so presenting photographs of the crash scene will undoubtedly bring up memories of their own accidents, which will help them relate to your experience and more than likely increase their empathy. Empathetic jurors often side with victims.
Always take photographs of your physical injuries that are visible to the eye as well. A bloody cut, bad bruise, abrasion, etc. will make good photographic evidence of the trauma you have experienced as a result of the accident, so take photographs of all your obvious physical injuries. And your clothes are important too; if your clothing was ripped or damaged, bloodied, or torn, take photographs of your clothing as well. And be sure to keep all articles of clothing that you were wearing during the time of the accident. Even if you plan to throw them out because they are stained with blood or torn, never discard these clothing items until after your case is settled, your claim is paid, and the money is in your bank. Your accident/crash clothing could be valuable evidence, so treat it as such.
Video is often admissible as evidence as well. The court will always decide on any piece of evidence of course, no matter what it is. But if you have video capability on your smartphone then take video of the scene as well, and everything else we’ve discussed.
REMEMBER, the party fighting against you, the other driver or drivers and/or their insurance companies, will try their best to get evidence dismissed. We will, of course, as your auto accident attorney, fight them every time they try, and we usually win all our fights. But to bolster our case, make sure to take photographs of the road conditions, especially if there is rain, sleet, snow, etc., and include plenty of selfies when you photo the cars and your injuries. For example, take some photos of yourself, with the crash vehicle in the background behind you. And take photos of your injuries in a wide shot also, that includes your face, in an effort to thwart any bogus comments the other side will put forth to try and dismiss our evidence. Judges typically see right through their shallow attempts to get hard evidence dismissed, but the more you can put into the photos, the better off we will be at trial.
Lastly, take photographs of any confusing signage or road markings, DMV equipment, roadblocks, cones, or anything else that could have distracted you or the other drivers, or caused an accident due to their negligent placement in or on the side of the roads. If you think it looks like good evidence, take a photo of it. If you end of with hundreds of photos, that’s perfectly fine, the more the merrier. As your car accident attorney, we’ll help you review each and everyone and narrow them down to the best that will make your case powerful. We are the law office that people turn to in Greenwood Village, CO, and Arapahoe County, Colorado. If it’s about Colorado law, we are the experts.
For more information on Car Accident Injury Claims In Colorado, a free personalized case evaluation is your next best step. Get the information and legal answers you are seeking by calling (303) 429-6200 today.
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