What to do after your car accident
Our lawyers explain what you should do to protect your rights
Knowing what to do after a bad car accident caused by another driver can be confusing. Even knowing what your options are might not be clear. That’s why it’s critical that you talk to someone in Fort Wayne, Indianapolis who understands how the legal system works and knows what you should do to protect your rights after your crash.
Our dedicated team of trial lawyers at Glaser & Ebbs can fight for your rights, right from the start. We have more 100 years of combined legal experience representing injury victims in Fort Wayne, Indianapolis and throughout Indiana. As a result, we know how much accident claims should be worth. As your attorney, we will fight for the maximum financial compensation.
What should I do after my car accident?
While every accident has its own unique characteristics, there are certain steps you should often take after a crash caused by another driver, including:
- Call the police – Ask the police to respond to your crash, especially if you or someone else was injured in the accident. Having a police officer respond to your crash will create an official accident report, which is called the Indiana Officer’s Standard Crash Report. It’s also important to get a copy of your completed accident report and verify that all the information accurately reflects what happened. Your lawyer can help you with this step.
- Seek immediate medical attention – If you believe you were injured in the accident, have an EMT or doctor examine you right away. For severe emergencies, go to the nearest emergency room right away. Many car accident injuries require immediate medical care, especially life-threatening internal injuries.
- Take pictures of the crash – If you’re healthy enough to do so, take photographs of your accident. Make sure to get pictures of damage to the vehicles and the crash site itself if possible. Photographs of your accident can be valuable pieces of evidence.
- Interview witnesses – If someone saw your accident, make sure you get their full name and the best phone number to reach them at. That way, the police, your insurance company and anyone else investigating your crash can contact them to get an official statement about your accident.
- Share information – Feel free to give the other driver your full name, driver’s license number and insurance information. Make sure to get the same information from the other driver as well.
- Don’t discuss your accident – After exchanging information after your crash, do not discuss your accident with the other driver or anyone else. Even if you know the other driver, don’t say anything to them about the accident. Anything you say could be used as evidence – even something as simple as “I’m sorry” – to deny your accident claim.
- Call your insurance company – Tell your insurance provider you were injured in an accident caused by another driver. Keep your conversation brief and simple, especially the first time you talk to your insurance company.
- Don’t talk to the other driver’s insurance company – Soon after your accident, the at-fault driver’s insurance company will likely contact you to ask a few questions. Don’t answer them. You do not legally have to talk to the other driver’s insurance company. Often, they’re simply searching for information they can use deny your claim. Simply tell them to contact your lawyer and talk to them.
- See your doctor – Even if you have already been examined by a medical professional after your accident, go a second time to your doctor. Some car accident injuries (including whiplash) do not appear immediately after an accident. Life-threatening internal injuries are common, as well, and might not be immediately apparent after your accident.
- Follow your doctor’s instructions – Whatever your doctor tells you to do, take their advice and follow their instructions. This serves two purposes. One, you will hopefully get better. Two, the at-fault driver’s insurance company will not have an excuse for denying your claim, which is common when people ignore their doctor’s advice.
- Get a copy of your accident report – If you have not already done so, get a copy of your official accident report completed by the investigating police officer. Your Indiana accident report can be one of the most important pieces of evidence. Make sure it’s correct.
- Call a lawyer – The sooner you have an attorney investigating your accident, the better. Your lawyer can conduct an independent investigation and gather evidence in support of your accident claim. This is especially important in Indiana, which has a fault-based insurance system. That means the at-fault driver’s insurance company is responsible for compensating anyone who was injured in the accident.
- Submit a demand letter – This is a letter normally submitted to the at-fault driver’s insurance company requesting financial compensation for your accident. Your attorney will submit this letter based on their investigation of your accident and your estimated accident-related expenses. If the insurance company agrees with your attorney, the at-fault driver’s insurance company will then make a settlement offer to resolve your case.
- File a lawsuit or take other legal action – If the at-fault driver’s insurance company refuses to settle your case or denies your accident claim, your lawyer can then help you take legal action to obtain the money you deserve. Often, this is done by filing a lawsuit against the at-fault party’s insurance company.
Don’t underestimate the complexity of your accident. Take your injury claim seriously right from the start. Take these steps and talk to an attorney who knows the law and understands how the legal systems works in Indiana.
Demand justice after your accident. Contact us.
Experience matters when it comes to choosing the right lawyer to represent you. That’s why many people choose our law firm to fight for them. We know what to do after an accident. We’re familiar with Indiana’s unique legal system. We understand how insurance companies think. That’s why we’re not afraid to stand up to them. We don’t back down from a fight. And we fight to win.
Demand the money you deserve after your accident. Contact us and schedule a free consultation with a lawyer at our law firm. We have offices in Fort Wayne, Indianapolis and other locations located throughout Indiana.