What to Do After a Car Accident
What to do After a Car Accident?
Were you injured in a car accident in the Portland area? Are you debating calling a Portland car accident attorney? This article includes some important steps that you should take after an injury accident in order to protect yourself and to ensure that you get the compensation and coverage you deserve from your insurance and from the at fault parties. This advice is brought to you by Bryan Dawson, a leading accident attorney in Portland. This information is meant to be a starting point, not a substitute for legal advice. If you have questions, want to discuss your case, or just need someone to talk to, feel free to give Dawson Law Group a call for a free phone consultation.
In a fair and ideal world, if someone else causes you to get into a car accident and sustain injuries, your injuries, loss of income, property damage, and loss of quality of life would be taken care of immediately- you should not have to worry about being made whole; the only thing you should focus on is just getting better. The reality of the situation is that there are steps that you need to take after getting in a car accident to make sure you get the full compensation you deserve and need to recover from the accident.
At the Scene of the Accident
Check Yourself for Injuries
The first thing you should do after an accident is to check yourself for injuries and get immediate help if you have sustained serious or life-threatening injuries. If you did sustain an injury, even one that you hope will improve on its own, you should consider seeing a doctor as soon as possible. You might feel like you just have a nagging problem, but injuries from a car accident can get worse sometimes days after the incident. Going to a doctor will give you peace of mind as well as information and a timeline about your recovery process, but it also has the added benefit of documenting your injuries and damages.
File a Police Report
A police report provides official documentation on how the accident happened and who was at fault for it. Call your local police department to send out an officer. Give the officer a detailed description of the accident and injuries you sustained in the accident. Make sure to write down this description for further reference.
Check on the other involved parties to make sure they have not sustained serious or life-threatening injuries. If they have, call 911 immediately to arrange for their medical care.
After checking on the other party, ask for their information. Make sure to take down their name, contact information, driver’s license number, and insurance. If there were witnesses to the accident, make sure to get their name and contact information as well.
If you have a cellphone camera handy, take as photographs of the accident scene if it is safe and if you are healthy enough to do so. This includes pictures of the location of the accident (make sure to include stop signs, stoplights, street signs, and other pertinent items), and pictures of the damage to your vehicle and the other parties’ vehicles. Once you get home, you should consider taking pictures of your personal injuries.
After the Auto Accident
Document Your Medical Care and Recovery
When you visit a physician for matters relating to your car accident, make sure to take detailed notes and documentation of your medical care and recovery. Takedown the names and addresses of any doctors, therapists, and other medical professionals you visit. Keep all bills, copies of forms, test results, and other paperwork that serve as documentation for your medical care.
It is also sometimes a good idea to start a journal detailing the recovery process and how it affects your life. Such a journal can help to document your injuries, pain level, medication, and decreases in your quality of life that you have noticed. Every time you see a doctor or other medical professional, write down a description of your visit. In this journal, track all medical costs that you incur- bills, receipts, co-payments, travel costs, and special equipment like crutches, walkers, or canes.
Consider Hiring a Portland, Oregon Personal Injury Lawyer
Advice from an attorney is often vital, especially soon after an accident. There is often evidence to be gathered which may disappear after a short time. There are deadlines to be met and strategic decisions to be made, sometimes even soon after an accident. An experienced and skilled lawyer can help.
No matter what caused your car accident, you can be sure that you will face opposition from insurance companies, the other party, and anyone else who does not want to give you your fair and just compensation for your injuries. Obviously, this opposition is coming at the worst time possible for you. You have just been injured and all you should have to focus on is getting better.
Hiring a Portland personal injury attorney to represent you can help protect you and give you peace of mind. When you work with a personal injury lawyer, you will have a team of legal professionals in your corner with years of knowledge and experience backing you up. Hiring a Portland, OR personal injury lawyer will give you peace of mind, and it can also lead to a better settlement and the confidence to take your car accident case to court if other parties are uncooperative.
Dawson Law Group accepts its personal injury cases on a contingent basis, meaning that until we get you the judgment or settlement that you deserve, you are not on the hook for a single dollar of lawyer’s fees. Call Dawson Law Group today at 503-919-1315 for a free, no-pressure phone consultation! Our Portland, OR based legal team would love to get to know you, hear your side of the story, and help you come up with a game-plan moving forward.