What To Do If You Are In An Accident
If you are involved in a car accident, the first thing you should do is seek medical attention. Even if you think you are not injured, it is very important to get checked by a doctor to make sure you are okay. Especially in low speed collisions, injuries may not be noticeable until hours or days later, however, injuries can become more serious if they are not addressed as soon as possible by a medical professional.
After most car accidents, it is a good idea to call the police so that they can investigate what happened and prepare a collision report. The collision report is usually the first source of information to look at to corroborate the facts with what the involved parties claim happened, and to obtain contact information for the other driver and witnesses.
If you are able, take pictures of the scene of the collision, both the surrounding area (including street signs and other traffic signals), and the vehicles (before being moved and after). Take pictures of your injuries if anything can be seen on the surface. Gather contact information from anyone that witnessed the accident, and exchange insurance information with the other driver or drivers involved.
It is also helpful if you write down your recollection of exactly how the accident happened, in as much detail as possible, starting from before the accident occurred and continuing to after it was finished (include the date, time, location, weather conditions, road conditions, and what the purpose of your travel was). Your written recollection will be useful to have later in the event that you need to give a statement to an insurance company. It is also a good idea to keep a journal after the accident, to documents your injuries, your recovery, your time missed from work, and how your life has been affected by your injuries.
Contact your insurance company to report the accident, and to open a Personal Injury Protection claim, if you have PIP. This is important so that the medical bills you have incurred can be paid, and so that you have coverage for future treatment. The other driver’s insurance company will usually try to contact you very quickly after the accident, and will often offer a small amount of money to settle your claim without even investigating what happened. You should always consult with a lawyer before talking to the other driver’s insurance company.
If your car is not deemed a total loss, it is important to get it repaired, so that you can drive when you are able, and because the vehicle repair paperwork will detail the damage that occurred to your vehicle, which can be helpful in proving the severity of the collision and the injuries you sustained. You have the right to have your vehicle repaired at a shop of your choice; call us if you need a recommendation for a reputable repair shop.
Follow the orders of your doctor, therapists, and anyone else involved in your recovery. People that are proactive in their treatment tend to recover quicker and more fully from their injuries. Be conscious of how your body is reacting to the care you are getting, and inform your doctor if your treatment does not produce the anticipated results.
Finally, be conscious of the time that has passed since the accident happened. In Washington, there is a three (3) year statute of limitations for personal injury claims. If it has been 2 or more years since the accident, you should act quickly so that the statute of limitations does not bar your recovery.
Contact Us Today
If you have been injured in a car accident, motorcycle accident, bicycle accident, or as a pedestrian, call the Gig Harbor law offices of Campbell & Miller, PLLC at (253) 851-5924 or contact us by email.