5 Ways to Protect Yourself After an Unexpected Motor Vehicle Collision

When you're in a motor vehicle accident, it's important that you take charge of the situation. There are five things you can do to protect yourself when you experience this type of personal injury.

Did a car hit you while you were crossing the street in a pedestrian crosswalk? Were you hurt when a vehicle sideswiped your bicycle? Were you hit by another vehicle while driving to work? Unfortunately, motor vehicle accidents can happen to anyone at any time. This type of accident can be incredibly devastating both emotionally and physically. If you've been injured in a motor vehicle accident, it's important to take charge. While the entire situation can be difficult to face, it's important to understand what your next steps should be.

1. Avoid apologizing.

First off, don't apologize when you're in an accident. This can be seen as an admission of guilt in the eyes of the law. Instead, you can ask questions such as, "Are you injured?" or "Are you okay?" While the temptation to apologize can be incredibly, try to avoid saying things such as, "I'm so sorry," as this can affect your case later on.

2. Take pictures.

If you have a cell phone with you, take pictures at the scene of the accident. Your photographs should include pictures of the damage, the intersection or road where the accident took place, any involved vehicles, and even pictures of bystanders. If there is anything else you believe should be documented, take additional pictures. If you do not have a cell phone or camera at the scene of the accident, make sure you take pictures of the damage later on. Always take pictures of the bike or car involved in the accident, as well as any physical injuries you may have sustained.

3. Contact the police.

It's important to report motor vehicle accidents as soon as they happen. When you call the police, they will tell you whether you should leave your vehicles as they are or whether you should try to move your cars to the side of the road. It's important to report the accident promptly so that officers can file a report. They'll pass this along to the involved insurance companies. When the police arrived, they will take pictures and will ask you to give a statement about what happened.

4. Seek medical help.

If you are injured, don't wait to seek medical help. Even if you only sustained minor injuries, make sure you visit your family physician or the emergency room to have these injuries documented. Sometimes, injuries from a motor vehicle collision don't manifest until later, but it's still important to get medical care promptly. You also need to ensure that you follow your doctor's instructions for post-accident care precisely. Failure to do so can impact your compensation from the case.

5. Meet with an attorney.

Your greatest asset during this time is your attorney. They understand the scope of the law and can assist you in creating a case, filing the right paperwork, and pursuing damages as a result of your injuries. Your attorney can guide you when negotiating with insurance companies and will help ensure you get the most out of your case.

When you're ready to start your personal injury case, call an attorney right away to get the help you need.