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Experienced and knowledgeable lawyers for a car accident will always tell you that being organized and documenting everything honestly and comprehensively is critical to achieving a good insurance settlement. Documentation is absolutely vital whether you are representing yourself or retaining an attorney. Do not depend on your memory to recall everything you saw at the accident scene. That is never going to work. When you are involved in an accident, you are already traumatized, dazed or in a state of panic. It would be humanly impossible for someone to remember minor, yet significant details, which can make or break a car accident claim.
File a police report:
Do this at the scene of the accident or at the nearest police station. By telling the police your version of the accident immediately after the incident, you make sure that the information is still fresh and accurate in your mind. Also, the police officer or law enforcement officials will be able to collect and examine physical evidence at the accident scene, which may demonstrate the other party’s negligence. Delaying filing a police report can adversely affect your claim.
Documenting the accident scene:
Write down notes at the accident scene. Draw diagrams depicting how the vehicles are positioned. Get the names and numbers of people who witnessed the accident. Take photos including damage to vehicles, skid marks on the roadway, the position of each vehicle, and environmental shots of the area. It’s best to take these photographs immediately after the accident before the vehicles are moved or evidence is cleared out. You can use a disposable camera, or even your cell phone camera
You should seek medical treatment immediately whether your injuries are apparent or not. Delaying medical treatment can adversely affect your claim because the insurance company might argue that the seriousness of your injuries was caused by your negligence in not getting medical attention. Your doctor’s initial report on your condition will also be a significant piece of evidence when your damage award is determined.
Itemize your damages and expenses:
Make an extensive and comprehensive list of all the damages you have sustained. This includes car repairs, injuries, number of days of work missed, rental car usage, medical bills, diagnostic tests, the cost of continued treatment such as physical therapy and so on. Sit with your attorney and make a list that is complete so you are reimbursed for all your expenses and damages related to the accident.
Keep a journal:
If you have suffered serious injuries, keep a journal by date. Document how you feel. List what you cannot do now that you were able to do before. If you are experiencing depression or emotional distress or physical pain, a record that as well. Always include date and time.
If you have been injured in an automotive accident, it is critical to contact an experienced attorney as soon as possible. Your lawyer will remain on your side, fight your rights, and work to protect your best interests. He will be able to handle negotiations with the insurance company, interview witnesses, and advise you before you make any statements. Please contact The Bernard Law Group to find out more information about how to obtain maximum compensation for your accident-related claim.
IF YOU, OR A LOVED ONE, HAVE BEEN SERIOUSLY INJURED IN A CAR ACCIDENT IN WASHINGTON – CALL TODAY FOR A FREE CONSULTATION!