What You Need To Do After Getting Involved in a Road Accident
The Law Office of Michael J. Schlueter
It is important to know the basics whenever you, a family member, or a friend is involved in a motor vehicle collision.
At the Scene:
Call the police: Make sure you contact the police, and do what you can to get them to the scene — without moving the vehicles is possible — and let them collect information.
Get driver information: Obtain and exchange information with all other drivers such as name, license number, tag number, insurance company name, policy number, and DO NOT FORGET to look at the license of all people who may be responsible. Without proper information, they may not ever be found.
Take photographs: Take photographs of your injuries, the damage to all vehicles, and the scene of the accident in general. Cell phone cameras are perfect for pictures of the scene!
Identify witnesses: Keep a record of all names, addresses, phone numbers, and email addresses. It is amazing how people won't stop and volunteer their help. Do what you can to stop people and ask for their info.
Discussions/Statements: Try to listen and remember what is said but more importantly - try to keep your talking to a minimum. Your story will be told—it does not have to be at the scene.
After the Accident:
Medical attention: If you are having pain and problems, seek medical attention immediately. It is critical to document your complaints and very important that you identify all problems you are having and inform the medical provider that the pain started immediately after the collision.
Keep track of medical expenses. Log all office visits, prescriptions, over-the-counter medications, laboratory services, physical therapy, hospital visits, treatments, medical documents, and X-rays, including names, dates of visits, amount charged, and reasons for seeing the medical providers.
Log lost work time: Keep a log of all time taken off from work as a result of the accident, including time off for medical treatments and/or the inability to function properly at work due to your injuries. Get a letter from your employer verifying pay and lost time.
Take photographs: Continue to take photographs of your injuries at different times after the accident. Write the date on the back of the photo.
Witnesses: Please allow your attorney to contact the witnesses. This can be tricky and is better left to someone who has taken witness statements before.
What You Need To Remember:
Make sure you allow your health insurance to pay for all medical treatment you receive. If a medical provider will not take your insurance—DO NOT use them. If your health insurance does not pay, you will have to!
Diligently follow through with all medical treatments. As long as you are having problems, keep treating.
Do not talk to the other side’s insurance company or attorney. And DO NOT sign any forms without approval from your attorney.
Do not settle your case until you have a chance to speak with an attorney. You should not feel pressured to hire an attorney, but you should know your rights and what an attorney can do to help you through the process.
Please contact Mike at (314) 227-2425 for your free consultation.