If you have been involved in a car accident, protecting yourself legally is extremely important. This way, you are not subject to losing out on compensation that you deserve or paying for damages that you didn't actually cause. Here are five things you need to do to protect yourself:
- Get Off the Road: First off, you want to get yourself off the road if you can. This includes your vehicle, if possible. Not only does this protect yourself from further injury, but it also prevents other vehicles from becoming involved, which can lead to more legal trouble later on down the road. If you cannot move your vehicle, don't attempt to do so if it's not safe. Instead, call the police. They will block off the area and bring the proper authorities who can make the area as safe as possible.
- File a Police Report: No matter what, you should file a police report. It's definitely best to get the police to the scene of the accident to file the report. However, if it was a minor accident, then this may not be necessary. In this instance, you can go to the police station to file an official police report.
- Tell Your Insurance Company: You must be sure that you tell your insurance company about the accident soon after it has occurred. This is going to help start the process of dealing with the claims for the damages and injuries. If you do not alert your insurance company and they hear about it from the other driver's insurance company, it can lead to problems and increased insurance rates on your end.
- Go to the Doctor: Going to your doctor right away is important even if you believe you did not suffer any injuries. This way, if something is found, such as back problems or neck stiffness, it's more likely to be seen as linked to the accident so that you can receive compensation for it.
- Hire an Auto Accident Attorney: Finally, be sure that you hire an auto accident attorney. Even if your case does not go to trial, your auto accident attorney will be sure that you do not miss out on your opportunity to receive full compensation. They will be sure you turn in your paperwork on time and they can even talk and negotiate with the insurance company for you.
When you know these five things to do to protect yourself legally, you can be sure that you end up with a fair claim on your hands.