Protecting Your Legal Rights after a Car Accident: The Do’s and Don’ts
The actions taken immediately after a car accident can make it easier or harder to bring a successful claim for financial recovery later on. But one of the most important actions you can take right now is to talk with a personal injury lawyer to be sure you understand your rights.
The personal injury attorneys at the Dolan Law Firm have helped thousands of people who suffered serious injuries in car crashes in the Oakland, San Francisco and Sacramento area. When you need legal advice, call 415-636-8160 or contact us online.
At the Scene of the Accident
If the car accident caused catastrophic injuries, it is unlikely that there will be time to do anything other than respond to immediate medical needs. But passengers who are unhurt at the scene and family members later in the day may want to:
- Take photos at the scene of the accident of the vehicles, the roadway, and the surrounding area. Even cell phone photos can prove helpful later on.
- Look for witnesses to the accident and get their names and numbers.
Don’t talk about fault. You can express concern for the well-being of others but don’t apologize. Until an investigation has been done, you may not really know who or what was at fault so don’t give the insurance company any evidence that can be used against you.
Soon After the Accident
- Call the insurance company and report the accident. Do not discuss fault.
- Write down notes about what happened as soon as possible, while the incident is still fresh in your mind.
- Arrange for storage of the damaged car or motorcycle. An investigator will want to examine it, ideally before any repair work is done or it goes to a junk yard.
Leave This to Your Lawyer
When you hire a lawyer, the lawyer and his or her staff will handle all or most of the details of your case, including filing claims, investigating the accident, and negotiating with the insurance company. This frees you to focus on your physical recovery. It also prevents problems from developing. It will help your lawyer handle your case if you:
- Gather all bills related to your medical care or the accident in one file folder that you can give to your attorney to prepare your claim.
- Keep a list of all medical problems so that you can talk with your doctor about them at your next visit. We want to ensure that all of your medical problems are identified and addressed.
- Do not give any recorded or written statements to the insurance company without talking to your lawyer first.
Contact Chris Dolan and the lawyers of the Dolan Law Firm
We have the experience and the resources needed to fully investigate your case. Evening and weekend appointments are available. We will come to your home or the hospital if you are unable to come to one of our three offices in San Francisco, Oakland or Sacramento. Our work is contingency-based, and we collect no fees unless we recover damages for you.
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