Experts tell us that we all stand at least a 25 percent chance of being involved in an auto accident at some point in our lifetime. We all know it is a possibility; yet, no one plans to be involved in a collision. Therefore, if you suddenly find yourself involved on a motor vehicle accident you may be asking yourself “ Where do I start? ” While each auto accident presents a unique set of facts and circumstances, there are some common steps that any victim should take in the minutes, hours, and days after a collision.
- Secure the scene and call the police. If you are able, move yourself to a safe location. If the collision occurred in the middle of a busy roadway, get to the shoulder if you are able to do so to prevent being further injured in a secondary collision. Call the police even if the accident appears to be minor. Contacting the police is the safe thing to do and serves to document the time and place of the crash.
- Obtain contact information if possible. If your injuries do not prevent you from moving and speaking, get the contact information for others involved in the crash and any witnesses to the crash. Thought he police report should have all this information, a surprising percentage of accident reports are lacking in vital information.
- Submit to a thorough medical examination. Many serious injuries do not present obvious outward signs. A potentially fatal traumatic brain injury, for example, can only be diagnosed by the use of sophisticated equipment found at a hospital. Going directly to the hospital also serves to provide a clear nexus between the accident and any injuries you claim when the time comes to negotiate a settlement.
- Contact your insurance company. Let your insurance company know what happened. In theory, your insurance company is on your side; however, in reality it really is best to speak to an attorney before talking to your own insurance company as well.
- Do NOT talk to the other driver’s insurance company. Never agree to discuss what happened with another driver’s insurance company. Always speak to an attorney first. Victims routinely lose compensation to which they are entitled because they said the wrong thing, or phrased something the wrong way, during a “we just want to get your version of events” conversation with the other driver’s insurance company.
- Contact an experienced Michigan personal injury attorney. If you haven’t already done so, contact an experienced Michigan auto accident attorney at this point. This ensures that your rights will be protected and allows you to concentrate on healing.
- Follow up with all medical treatment. While the initial evaluation was necessary it is not sufficient. Always follow up with any recommended treatment. This is best for your health and for any claim you pursue against an at-fault driver.
For specific questions about your Michigan auto accident, contact an experienced Michigan motor vehicle accident attorney right away.