What To Do After Being Hit By a Car in Gilbert, AZ
The Anti-Lawyer Lawyer explains steps you should take.
Car accidents happen all the time throughout Gilbert. They happen on the Loop 202, at intersections such as Lindsay Road and Warner Road, on busy streets such as E Germann Road, and on side streets throughout the town. It only takes one negligent driver to hit a car, motorcycle, bicycle, or pedestrian.
The collision itself only takes seconds. But if you were hit by a car while driving, biking, or walking, you may have suffered a serious injury that impacts your life for months or even years. The moments immediately following a crash can be very confusing. And you may not be sure about what to do next.
Nobody expects to get into an accident, so you may not be clear about what to do. The good news is there are steps you can take to protect yourself, as well as your right to file a claim for financial compensation.
Get the police.
Some accidents may seem pretty minor. Is it really worth calling the police? The answer is yes. Calling the police after a collision is always in your best interests. Call 911 or have someone else call. Officers from a local law enforcement agency, the county sheriff’s office, or the Arizona Highway Patrol will respond. They can secure the scene to help keep everyone safe. They can also arrange for help if anyone is injured.
Officers will also conduct an initial investigation of your crash and complete an Arizona Crash Report. This accident report will contain important details about the crash. There will also be information about any citations given to the other driver as a result of the accident. This report can be very useful when you are filing a claim for compensation.
Get medical attention.
Immediately following the collision, your instinct is to do a quick check to see if you’re hurt. You may definitely be shaken up. Maybe you have some slight pain in your leg, or in your neck. But it doesn’t seem like anything serious. You just want to deal with this and then go home and rest. So you may think that there’s no need to see a doctor.
Get medical attention anyway. Some injuries, including concussions and internal bleeding, have delayed symptoms. If you are feeling slight pain, it could get worse. Let emergency medical personnel examine you. At the very least, see your own doctor within the next day or two.
A doctor can assess your injuries and begin treatment as soon as possible. There will also be a medical record created to document your injuries. This is important if you will be seeking financial compensation for what happened.
Get some information.
Ask for the other driver’s name and contact information, as well as their insurance company. You can also write down the make, model, color, and license plate number of the car. If there were witnesses, ask for their names and contact information.
Keep in mind that getting into an accident is upsetting for everyone involved. It’s very important to try to stay calm and keep things civil. Don’t engage in any discussions about who was at fault for what happened. That will be determined later. Try to keep the focus on exchanging information.
Be careful about what you say, also. For example, you don’t need to apologize. An insurance company may take that as admission that you were to blame for what happened. Just stick to the facts.
Get some photos.
Taking photos and video is a great way to document the accident. If you are able to do so, take some photos of the scene from different angles and distances. Try to document vehicle damage, the license plate of the car that hit you, any visible injuries you have, and any nearby traffic signals, street signs, or landmarks.
Get your account of the crash on paper.
It’s normal to forget some details about your accident in the following days and weeks. That’s why it’s important to document your account of what happened while your memory is still fresh. As soon as you get a chance, take some time to write down everything you remember about the accident. There may be some details that come to mind that don’t seem that important. Write them down, anyway. You never know what might be important later.
Get your insurance company involved.
If you were driving at the time of the crash, you are required to notify your insurance company. Failing to do so could put your ability to recover compensation at risk. You can either call them or report the accident online. Keep it simple. Tell them when and where the accident happened, who was involved, and whether you were injured.
However, you do not have to talk to the insurance company representing the other driver. If they contact you, politely decline any requests to answer questions or give a recorded statement. Then get legal advice.
Get a lawyer.
If you’ve been hit by a car, you need medical treatment, and the expenses can add up fast. You may also be unable to work, which means there will be less money coming in. If you were hit by a car operated by a negligent driver, you deserve financial compensation. But the process of recovering compensation can be difficult.
First, the driver that hit you may deny doing anything wrong – even if it’s clear the driver was speeding, texting, or being aggressive. Second, the insurance company is not on your side, and they will try to pay you as little as possible. They handle claims every day. They have the advantage after a crash and will not hesitate to use it.
An experienced attorney can fight for your rights and help you recover the compensation you deserve.
How a lawyer can help
An Arizona car accident attorney will be familiar with the challenges and obstacles you can face when seeking financial compensation, including tactics used by insurance companies to minimize your claim. A lawyer can:
- review the details of your accident
- advise you of your rights and legal options for recovering compensation
- answer any questions you have about the legal process
- gather evidence, review documentation, and interview witnesses as part of an investigation into your accident
- build a strong case that holds the negligent driver accountable
- document your injuries
- arrange for a medical lien if needed, to ensure you get the medical treatment you need
- file a lawsuit on your behalf
- handle all paperwork and court filings needed to move your case forward
- handle all communications with the insurance company
- negotiate a settlement that meets your needs
- fight for you in court, if necessary.
Insurance companies have lawyers on their side to protect their interests. And they will use many different tactics in an attempt to reduce your compensation. For example, they may question the seriousness of your injuries or blame you for causing the accident. Many times, they’ll offer a settlement that falls far short of covering all of your damages.
That’s why you need an experienced car accident lawyer who will think about what’s best for you. Attorney Byron Browne of Browne Law Group does not put up with any of the B.S. tactics used by insurance companies. He’ll get straight to the point and will focus on building a strong case to recover the compensation you deserve.
If you’ve been hit by a car, it’s important to get legal advice as soon as possible. Contact us to schedule a free consultation.
Click here to download a printable PDF of this article, “What To Do After Being Hit By a Car in Gilbert, AZ.”