Ever wonder what to do after an accident? The minutes, hours and days after a car wreck can be the most important timeframe related to the successful resolution of your personal injury claim. It is what you do in these minutes, hours and days that can bolster your claim and help you secure maximum compensation for your medical bills, lost wages, pain and suffering and other losses.
Linda Weimar, our Oregon City and Lake Oswego car accident lawyer, offers the following helpful tips for what to do after a car accident, trucking accident or motorcycle accident. Of course, we always offer free initial consultations, so please call us locally at (503) 640-5000.
What to Do After a Car Accident
- Call the police. The police will file a report, which can be crucial to your claim.
- Take pictures. If you are able to take pictures, do so. Take pictures of the accident scene, damage to all vehicles involved in the collision and any injuries you and your passengers have sustained.
- File an accident report. Oregon law requires that you file an accident report with the DMV within 72 hours of a reportable accident, regardless of whether the police were there. If there is property damage of $1,500 or more, or if anyone is injured, the accident is reportable. Failure to do so may result in a suspension of your driving privileges and more.
- Seek medical attention. This is an important step to take, whether you have sustained a serious injury or are unsure of the extent of your injuries. Some injuries will be more obvious than others. For example, some neck injuries, back injuries, spinal cord injuries and traumatic brain injuries (TBI) are usually very obvious. Most seriously injured victims will be taken to the ER immediately. However, there are just as many injuries that are not as obvious, sometimes taking hours or days to manifest. When you seek immediate medical attention and when you follow your doctor’s orders, you are ensuring that there is proper documentation to support a claim for injuries.
- Avoid making any statements about the accident. DON’T TALK TO ANY INSURANCE PEOPLE WITHOUT FIRST CONSULTING WITH AN INJURY LAWYER. Insurance adjusters are skilled at getting you to say things that will hurt your claim later on — particularly when it relates to possible injuries. The insurance adjuster’s job is to find every excuse to pay you as little as possible, whether it’s your own insurance company or the at-fault driver’s insurance company.
- Contact an attorney to find out your rights and options. You can call our law firm at (503) 640-5000 as soon as you want after the accident. It does not cost you anything to call our firm. Contacting an attorney soon after the accident is often critical even in cases where the at-fault driver has admitted fault, in order to maximize the amount of money you deserve and that is “fair.”
- Keep your attorney updated about any developments.
- Continue following your doctor’s orders.
- If you receive a phone call from the insurance companies, direct them to our law firm. When you hire us, we will handle all interactions with the insurance companies.
If you are dealing with a fatal accident and would like assistance with a wrongful death claim, we understand you are experiencing painful emotions. Please know that we will take on your legal problems, allowing you to focus on grieving your loss.
Free Consultations With a Lake Oswego Car Accident Attorney — No Recovery, No Fee
Beaverton area: (503) 640-5000
If you’ve been seriously injured or have lost someone you love to a fatal truck, motorcycle or car crash in Oregon or Washington state, contact us for a free consultation.
Our firm handles personal injury lawsuits on a contingent fee basis; you won’t be asked to pay any legal fees unless we obtain a verdict or settlement on your behalf.