Albuquerque Auto Accident Attorneys Discuss What Actions to Take After a Vehicle Accident
The scene: You are driving steadily along when suddenly, another car strikes you from behind. What should you do?
Albuquerque auto accident attorneys will be quick to tell you that, first, you need to stop your vehicle as soon as you can do so safely, if the collision has not already forced you to a stop. You must not, whatever you do, continue on as though nothing happened. This is referred to as “leaving the scene of an accident,” and the penalties can be severe. If the accident involved your vehicle striking a pedestrian, bicyclist or other person, failing to stop can open you up to charges of hit and run. Further, common human decency demands that you stop. Call the police immediately and cooperate fully with the officer.
Contact Your Insurer
You should notify your insurance carrier immediately that an accident has taken place. Inform either your agent or the claims department, depending upon who takes your call, of what has happened. Your insurer will begin procedures to file and investigate your claim. An adjuster will review the damages done to your vehicle and provide an assessment for repair expenses. Be sure that you work with the insurance company. You are not necessarily required to provide recorded testimony, nor should you be expected to give them information that you have already sent to them.
See a Doctor
Not all injuries manifest right away. You should consult a physician as soon as possible after the incident to have your condition examined and any latent injuries diagnosed. It is your responsibility to take proper care of yourself, so seeking immediate medical attention is important. Failure to do so can not only jeopardize your health, it can adversely affect your settlement.
Documentation is Everything
Begin a journal that describes what happened, when and how it happened, what the road, light and weather conditions were, how you were injured, what you saw and what both parties did as far as you can remember. Record the effects of the accident on your life. Don’t neglect contact information for anyone who might have seen what happened and if you can, include a diagram that illustrates the incident as clearly as possible. You should also record any ongoing or additional symptoms that you notice so that your physicians have a clear picture of your condition. You can also specify what medical personnel you have seen, when and where your treatments took place and what the results were.
It may be some time before your claim is settled or your case goes to court, so a diary can supply the information that your memory may not retain. You can record it on paper, electronically or in any format that works for you, but the more accurate, comprehensive and detailed you can make your diary, the more compelling your claim will be. You should be aware that, unless your attorney has specifically requested that you create one, your journal can be made available to the opposition during discovery if your case goes to trial. If he or she did request it, then it falls under attorney-client privilege and can remain private. To avoid any issues, keep your journal factual.
Seeking Legal Counsel from Albuquerque Auto Accident Attorneys
A skilled car accident attorney has experience working with insurers, and can assist you in negotiating a settlement. If litigation becomes necessary, you should certainly have a lawyer to represent you in court. If you or someone you care for has been involved in a car accident, you should seek help now. Contact the Attorneys at Khayoumi Law Firm, your Albuquerque auto accident attorneys, by phone at (505) 333-8613 today.