You need to take control after a car accident and take steps that will protect your rights. Of course, if you take the wrong steps, it could cost you the ability to recover compensation for your injuries and vehicle damage.
The car accident lawyers of Gemma Law Associates, Inc., provide the following list of mistakes to avoid (and what you should do instead) if you have been involved in car accident in Providence or Rhode Island:
1. Don’t overreact to a Rhode Island car accident.
Stay calm and proceed in a business-like manner after a car accident. If you are not severely injured, determine whether others are hurt. Call 911 if help is needed. If you have been injured, get medical help from emergency responders. Be polite and respectful of everyone involved in the accident and its aftermath. Try to calm those who are upset. Don’t make accusations of fault. Don’t get into arguments.
2. Don’t exaggerate your account of what happened.
Call the police to report the accident. Cooperate with them when they show up at the scene. Answer their questions honestly but answer only what’s asked. Don’t go into why or how the crash occurred. Never admit fault and don’t blame anyone else at that point.
The same goes for insurance companies: Be honest but only provide basic information. Tell the insurer what happened but do not talk about how or why an accident occurred. Do not characterize your injuries. You want to avoid providing information that could allow the insurance carrier to downplay the seriousness of your accident and injuries.
At the same time, don’t exaggerate what happened or the extent of the injuries and losses you have suffered. It won’t help your cause and may undermine your credibility.
Do not sign anything offered by an insurance company. Also, politely decline to record a statement if asked. If you hear from the other driver’s insurance company, refer them to your insurer or your attorney.
3. Don’t ignore evidence of your car accident.
If you are not too badly injured, you can start right away to gather evidence to support your potential accident claim. Photograph the cars and their positions and damage. You can also take photos of skid marks, debris and any other damage on the roadway or shoulder of the road, including previously existing damage that may have been a factor in the crash. Get contact information from car passengers and other witnesses. Find out how to get a copy of the police report and get one as soon as possible. Save all of your doctor bills, receipts and any other records of your injuries and associated expenses.
4. Don’t ignore your insurance company.
As we mentioned above, it’s crucial that you report your car accident to your insurance company in order to initiate a claim. Do this as soon as possible.
Afterward, cooperate with your insurer. For instance, get repair estimates for your vehicle if they ask you to get them. Again, don’t provide information that could damage your claim and never sign anything offered by an insurance company without the advice of an attorney.
5. Don’t overlook the crucial help a lawyer provides.
No one provides the help an experienced car accident lawyer can provide after a car crash. Police protect the law. Insurers protect their profits. But an attorney protects you.
Your attorney will stand between you and the insurance companies and ensure that they don’t take advantage of you. An experienced car accident lawyer also knows how to investigate your car accident to determine who should compensate you for your losses.
6. Get Help from an Experienced Rhode Island Car Accident Lawyer.
Contact Gemma Law Associates, Inc. We will provide a free consultation about your case. We will review your accident and your legal options. If you retain our services, we will deal with the insurance companies for you and seek all of the compensation you deserve.