4 Things Your DC Personal Injury Lawyer Says You Should And Shouldn’t Do After A Car Accident
by: Lawrence S. Lapidus
When you’ve been involved in an auto accident whether it be with a truck, a commercial vehicle, a van, a car, or even as a pedestrian, there are some do’s and don’ts to keep in mind.
What To Do After A Car Accident:
- Do Try to Stay Calm: This is especially important if there are injuries. You can help those who are hurt if you’re frazzled and out of control. Take a deep breath, make sure you’re in a safe place, and call 9-1-1 for help if anyone is injured.
- Do Help Yourself Too: If you are injured, seek help immediately. And keep in mind, too many people dismiss seemingly minor injuries like a stiff neck or sore back, but these injuries could have more serious delayed symptoms. In many cases, whiplash or a concussion may not display symptoms immediately. Your best bet: seek medical attention as soon as possible. It’s never a bad idea to get to the hospital via ambulance, but if you forego that option, get yourself to an urgent care facility or the ER in a timely manner. Not only will your health now be a priority, but the insurance adjusters also look at how long you took to seek medical treatment when determining a settlement offer. By taking an ambulance, you will ensure that a police report will be written. Absent a citation to any participant in a crash, a police report will not be issued unless an ambulance transports someone from the crash scene.
- Do Take Pictures (But Only If It’s Safe to Do So): You probably have your phone handy, so snap a few shots while you’re on the accident scene, including any damages to the vehicles involved, everyone’s license plate number, driver’s license of the at-fault party.
- Do Talk to A Personal Injury Lawyer: Any reputable Personal Injury Attorney will provide you with a free, no obligation consultation to review your case. And if they require payment up front, consider choosing another attorney. Most Personal Injury Lawyers are compensated with a percentage of your settlement amount.
What NOT to Do after a Car Accident:
- Don’t Argue with Anyone: Nothing will be solved at the scene of the accident. At this point, determining fault is up to the insurance adjusters, lawyers (in some situations), and/or the police (if they’re on the scene). Your DC Law Firm will perform an in-depth investigation to determine liability, with the goal of obtaining a fair and reasonable settlement in your favor.
- Don’t Admit Fault: Leave that decision up to the lawyers, the police and the insurance companies. Whether on the scene of the accident or during communications with the insurance adjusters, do not admit to any wrongdoing. If you did do something that contributed to the accident, that should be discussed with your DC Personal Injury Lawyer. An ethical, honest lawyer should then give you an honest response about how your accident claim should be handled legally and ethically moving forward.
- Don’t Delay Treatment: If you elect not to use an ambulance, go to an URGENT CARE CENTER or ER AS SOON AS POSSIBLE. Do not wait until your primary care physician can see you because the insurance company will count any delay of more than a few days against the value of your claim and is likely to disallow any fair amount for pain and suffering because they reason that the medical care would have alleviated at least some of your pain experience more quickly than without such treatment.
- Don’t Leave the Scene: Some people may say, “I’d never leave the scene of an accident!” However, you might be surprised at how many people – in a snap decision – decide it might be better just to drive away. This is NEVER a good idea, whether you’re at fault or not. Hit and run accidents have stiff fines, so whether you’re at fault or not, handle yourself accordingly if you’re ever involved in an auto accident.
DC Personal Injury Lawyer
If you are ever involved in an auto accident in Washington, DC or Maryland, don’t hesitate to reach out to your team at The Lapidus Law Firm. We bring to you more than 4 decades of experience of representing clients in personal injury cases of all kinds, wrongful death, medical malpractice, catastrophic injuries, and much more.
Call us (202) 785-5111 for a free, no-obligation consultation so a DC Personal Injury Lawyer can take a look at your case.