By: Wesley "Matt" Nakajima, Esq.
The Sanders Law Firm
1017 Russell Street
Covington, Kentucky 41011
An auto accident can be one of the most stressful events in a person's life. People are often injured, in a state of panic and unsure what to do. The aftermath from a collision can be just as stressful. All too often, perspective clients come to my office, after being seriously injured in an auto accident, overwhelmed because of their outstanding medical bills, loss of income and accident related injuries. Unfortunately, because perspective clients didn't know what to do after the accident, much of the information needed to prove the true value of their legal claims was lost. In order to avoid this situation, if you can remember to follow these simple steps after an accident, you can ensure that you have the necessary information to pursue a legal claim for your injuries and damages.
At the scene of the accident, if you can, you should do the following:
- Call 911. After an accident, injury victims are full of adrenaline and may not realize the full extent of their injuries. Your primary concern should be for your own well being and the safety of others injured in the collision. By calling 911, the police and paramedics will be able to promptly respond to the scene, treat you for your injuries, and obtain statements from all parties involved.
- Gather information from all persons involved in the accident, including names, addresses, phone numbers, drivers licenses, insurance information (carrier, policy number, and telephone number).
- Gather statements from any witnesses and get their names, addresses, and phone numbers.
- Take pictures of all vehicles involved and pictures of the accident scene including brake marks on the road and the location of all relevant traffic control devices nearby.
Once you are safe, take the following steps to protect your right to an accident claim:
- Seek medical attention immediately.
- If you're an Ohio resident, request a Medical Payments application. Although this coverage is optional in Ohio, most Ohio car insurance policies provide $5,000.00 in no fault medical coverage for auto accident related injuries.
- Call the local police department and get a copy of your accident report.
- By having a video of your accident, you can remove any doubt about who the negligent driver was.
- You have the right to refuse to speak with the negligent driver's insurance company and you should refuse to do so. You are under no obligation to sign any forms the negligent driver's insurance company sends you including authorization releases for your medical records.
- Take photos of your vehicle before it is repaired
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By following these simple steps, you can protect your personal injury claim after a car accident. For more information about your rights and the legal remedies available to you after a car accident, call The Sanders Law Firm at 859-491-3000 for a free consultation.