Most of us will be involved in a car accident at some point in our lives. Usually, it’s just a minor fender bender. You may end up with a few bumps and bruises. The biggest bruise is likely to your ego. Yet, despite the fact that motor vehicle accidents are so common, most people aren’t prepared for them. Many of our clients have no idea what they’re supposed to do in the moments and days following their Phoenix car crash. Our Phoenix auto accident attorneys meet with clients every week who don’t realize they’ve hurt their case before it’s even begun.
If you want to preserve your right to damages, you need to follow three basic steps after your car wreck. These are simple things, but you’d be surprised how many people fail to take these simple measures. First, you need to call 911. You don’t have a choice in this matter. You must report the crash whether you want to or not. Not only is it legally required, but you need the cops to come out and do a thorough investigation of the crash.
Second, you need to go to the hospital. Like it or not, you need to get checked out by a doctor. Finally, you need to report the crash to your insurance company. If you do these three things, you should have a good chance of recovering damages from the defendant. If not, you’re only making your Phoenix personal injury attorney’s job harder than it has to be.
Here, we’ll go into detail about the things you must do after your car accident. We’ll also explain why they are so important. If you still have questions after you read this, don’t worry. We get a lot of calls from accident victims who aren’t sure what to do after their accident. We recommend you call and schedule your free, initial consultation before you make any final decisions about your claim.
You Must Call the Police No Matter What
Like it or not, you must call 911 after your accident. The cops will come out and do a complete investigation of the accident. They’ll get contact information for any witnesses. They’ll also get the license, registration, and insurance information of both drivers. They’ll make a note of the road conditions and do their best to describe the accident scene. All of this information goes into their police report. Your Phoenix auto accident attorney will rely on this report to help prove your case.
Under Arizona Revised Statutes Section 28-663, you must exchange names, addresses, and vehicle registration numbers with the other driver and show your driver’s license if asked. You must also help anyone who is injured in the accident.
Make Sure You Go to the Hospital Immediately After the Crash
It’s critically important that you go to the hospital immediately after your crash. You need to see a licensed physician to make sure you’re okay. If you have suffered any injuries, your doctor will document them in your medical record. Your attorney is going to need these records to prove that you were hurt. Without them, it’s going to be your word against the defendant’s.
Let Your Phoenix Auto Accident Attorney Help Report Your Claim
You’re going to have to file a claim with your insurance company. If the defendant was at fault, you’ll want to notify their insurance company as well. You need to do this within a few days of your accident. Rather than do this yourself, you can have your Phoenix personal injury attorney help you do this.
They can make sure your claim is filed properly. They’ll also make sure the insurance adjuster doesn’t try to take advantage of you. Once your claim is filed, your lawyer will do their best to negotiate a settlement of your claim. If this isn’t possible, they’ll have no choice but to file a lawsuit against the other driver.
You May Be Entitled to Damages
If you are involved in a car accident and suffer serious injuries, you probably have a claim for damages. As long as your Phoenix personal injury attorney can prove negligence, you should be able to win your case. In order to do this, you must demonstrate the following 4 things:
- The defendant owed you a duty of care – This isn’t hard to do with an auto accident. All drives owe other motorists a certain duty of care. At a minimum, they have to obey all traffic laws.
- The defendant breached this duty – As long as you show the defendant breached their duty of care, you should be able to recover damages. For example, if the other driver was drunk driving, it won’t be difficult at all to show a breach of duty.
- You have to show you were injured – It’s not enough that you were involved in an accident. Your Phoenix auto accident attorney must show that you were hurt. The best way to do this is by submitting a copy of your medical records. If you don’t go to the hospital immediately following your crash, you won’t be able to do this.
- Your injuries were caused by the defendant’s actions – One of the reasons we always warn our clients to go to the hospital immediately after their crash is so that they can document causation. If you wait days or weeks to seek treatment, the defendant will argue that something other than the accident caused your injuries.
Of course, no two cases are the same. Until your attorney gets a chance to review your case, they have no idea what may happen. If they have the evidence necessary to prove your case, then they’ll push to get you as much money as possible.
Call Our Office and Schedule Your Free, Initial Consultation
By the time we meet with most car accident victims, it’s a bit too late to fix some of their mistakes. For example, if a client failed to call 911 after their crash, we have no way to get an accident report. We won’t have witness information or a description of the accident scene. All we have to go on is your word. This can make our job very hard. Rather than risk this happening, call our experienced Phoenix personal injury attorneys and find out the best way to approach the situation.
All you have to do is call our office and ask if you can schedule your free consultation. One of our helpful staff members will find a date and time that works for you. The consultation is free, so you don’t have anything to lose.