Many victims of auto or motorcycle crashes feel confused as to what they should do following an accident, especially if they sustained injuries. 

That’s why it is so important to keep certain considerations in mind even before a collision takes place. By ensuring you know what steps to take when an accident happens, you will be better prepared. 

The First Steps Following An Auto Or Motorcycle Accident

First and foremost, remember that when you sustain injuries due to someone else’s negligent behavior, you must preserve all potential pieces of evidence to help support and document your injury claim. 

In order to resolve your case in a fairly short amount of time, you must do the following:

  • Call the police and file a claim. 
  • Take notes at the scene of the crash, if possible. Write down anything that you can think of that will help you to explain later how your injuries occurred. 
  • Talk to everyone involved in the crash and write down names, phone numbers, insurance information, addresses, and names and numbers of potential witnesses. Also, keep track of the name of any police officers that come to the scene. 
  • Take photos of the accident scene, your vehicle, and any other vehicles involved. Talk to nearby business owners and to traffic control officials to see if there were any security cameras filming the area at the time of the accident. Secure the footage, as many entities will periodically destroy video evidence. 
  • Obtain medical attention immediately after the accident if you are injured. Keep records of all visits, bills, medication, and treatment you require.
  • Get a copy of the police report by going to www.wsp.wa.gov and clicking on “Hot Topics” on the right hand side of the page. Select “Collision Reports” to file your report request.

Whatever you do, do not provide any statements or sign any document presented to you from the party that caused the accident or their insurance company until you speak to an attorney. Politely decline if asked to do so and let them know you will be filing your own paperwork.

In order to ensure you will get the compensation you deserve, contact a personal injury attorney as soon as possible to explain what happened and ask what your next steps should be. 

When Should I File A Claim?

Accident victims should always remember that, in most cases in Washington state, they have three years from the date of the accident to file a lawsuit against the negligent party. If an agreement between you and the guilty party is not reached, then the lawsuit must be filed within the three-year period. In either case, a personal injury attorney with experience in auto and motorcycle accidents will be able to guide you through the process. 

If you or a loved one was injured in an accident in Washington, contact an attorney for further information. 

July 3, 2020
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