Updated on: 3/20/2020
Being injured as a result of an auto accident can be a traumatic experience. A moment of inattention on the part of a motorist can result in confusion and injury.
Each year in the United States, almost 900 cyclists are killed in bicycle accidents involving automobiles. Because cyclists are often difficult for motorists to see and lack the protection of metal cars and airbags, those who survive collisions may suffer severe injuries and permanent disabilities that can require years of expensive treatment and rehabilitation.
Despite every reasonable precaution, accidents still happen. When they do, it’s important to take the right steps to ensure that you preserve your claim and increase the likelihood of achieving a successful outcome. That’s why in many cases, hiring an experienced attorney to represent your interests is one of the smartest moves you can make.
The First Step To Protecting Your Legal Rights
The first thing to do is stay calm. Right after an accident, your body is filled with adrenalin. You may be very frightened or angry or both – and you may want to confront the driver of the vehicle. This is natural and perfectly understandable, but don’t. The best thing that you can do is to keep your temper in check and stay calm. You need to get information from the driver of the vehicle, witnesses, other parties that may be involved, and the accident scene itself.
If you waste your energy with anger, you will not be able to focus on what you have to do, and it will be difficult to get the people at the accident scene to cooperate with you. If you are injured, getting upset may make you unaware of how severe your injuries are and cause you to neglect them or fail to seek professional medical attention.
Gathering complete information is important because even though insurance companies are legally obligated to compensate the victim, they will often go to great lengths to deny the claim or minimize a claim. As a result, you need to make sure that you have as much reliable information about the accident and your injuries as possible. This will strengthen your claim and increase the odds of a favorable outcome.
It’s also important to get as much information as possible at the time of the accident, because it may be months or even years before a case is resolved. In most cases involving injuries, you should always call the police so that an investigation is done. The police officer will usually take witness statements and gather information that you or your attorney will need later on.
Other Important Steps To Remember
You need to remember that what may seem perfectly obvious to you about what happened won’t be so obvious to a court or a jury many months of even years in the future. There is also the possibility that you may not notice an injury or damage to your property until it’s too late to show that the accident was the cause of the injury or damage – unless you have already collected the evidence.
Wore, the accident scene can change, physical evidence at the scene can disappear, injuries can heal, witnesses can forget or become hard to track down, and your recollections of event can start to fade. In fact, one danger for the victim of an accident is post-traumatic amnesia (PTA), which may result in the victim having no memory of the events either leading up to or immediately after the accident.
In cases of PTA, gathering full information about the accident in order to resolve a settlement is vital, because the victim may be unable to say what happened with any confidence – of he or she even remembers it at all. In such cases, witness testimony is particularly important, since the victim cannot give a full account.
The Washington personal injury attorneys at Davis Law Group encourage you to follow these steps in order to receive optimal results for your case.