After a car accident in Boston, you may feel shaken. Even if you don’t suffer any injuries, an accident can still prove nerve-wracking. Knowing what to do after a Boston car accident will depend on your specific situation. What you do after an accident can have an impact not only on your health and safety but also on your ability to collect compensation for your injuries and your property damage, especially when someone else caused the accident.
To help you understand what to do after a car accident in Boston, your friends at Dolman Law Group Accident Injury Lawyers, PA, have put together a guide for your reference. After any car accident, make sure you feel all right, then call us to help you recover maximum compensation.
Do Not Leave the Accident Scene Unless You Have Serious Injuries
When you get into a car accident, many people want to get out of the situation as quickly as possible. Many car accidents cause serious injuries and some even prove life-threatening. In fact, Boston car accidents leave more than 300 people losing their lives each year.
If emergency medical personnel come to the accident scene, they will evaluate you and determine if you need further medical attention at the hospital. Adhere to their recommendations and if the emergency responders say that you need to go to the hospital, go. You do not want to put yourself in a position where you suffer more or longer-lasting injuries because you wanted to avoid the hospital.
If you feel all right in the immediate aftermath of your accident, however, stay at the accident scene. If you caused an accident, leaving the scene could result in criminal charges against you. Leaving the scene of an accident constitutes a violation of Massachusetts law and could result in jail time and serious fines.
Staying at the scene of an accident caused by someone else will also help ensure that the at-fault party doesn’t attempt to flee the scene. It will also allow you to collect evidence and make sure your car does not suffer additional damage.
Call the Police
If no one else has called the police, do so. Calling the police will not only send emergency medical personnel to the scene to evaluate you, but the police will also come and observe the accident scene.
The police will create an accident report based on their observations and discussions with you, the other driver, and any witnesses. While the police may not assign fault in their accident report, it will provide you with an objective description and diagram of the accident. This can prove vital to your claim for damages against an at-fault driver.
Exchange Information With Other Drivers
Following an accident, you should exchange information with all other involved drivers. You should get a copy of each driver’s license and insurance card. This can help you verify their identities and make sure that they have sufficient insurance coverage as required under Massachusetts law.
Knowing what insurance coverage the other driver has provided you with information about your options for pursuing compensation. Depending on the extent of the damage to your vehicle, the at-fault party’s insurance may not cover all of it, and you may have to sue that party directly to collect more. Also, if you have suffered injuries, even if you did not have to go to the hospital, you may qualify to pursue additional compensation from the negligent driver.
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Exchange Information With Witnesses
Just as getting information from other drivers can provide vital information, you should also get witness contact information. Not all witnesses will wait around for the police to arrive, especially for minor accidents. By speaking with all of the witnesses, you can get their contact information and a sense of what they saw.
Many witnesses can provide vital information about the seconds leading up to your crash. This information may prove important to show that the other driver caused your accident. In cases where the other driver denies fault, witnesses may serve an important role in proving your claim.
Take Pictures and Videos
We all carry recording devices with us wherever we go today—use them.
Take pictures and videos of everything, including:
- The entire accident scene
- Any vehicles involved in the accident
- Close-up of damage to vehicles
- Your injuries
- Anyone else’s injuries
- Any other items you think may prove relevant
These pictures and videos can provide intimate information about your accident and the injuries you have suffered. This evidence will prove invaluable to your legal team in the quest to help you collect maximum compensation for your injuries.
Follow Your Doctor’s Orders
Even if you do not require emergency medical treatment, you need to follow your doctor’s orders. Concussions, one of the most common car accident injuries, often leave people thinking they can ignore their doctor. Because rest constitutes one of the most important aspects of getting over a concussion, many people find that hard to do, especially when they may not feel that bad. Following your doctor’s orders, however, will give you the best chance of making a full recovery.
Besides that, concussions can prove costly. The lifetime cost of a concussion injury can exceed $1 million. Even financially well-off individuals may have a difficult time paying this amount.
Keep All of Your Records
When the police file the accident report, get a copy of it. When your doctor gives you instructions on how to get better, keep a copy of those instructions. Keep a copy of your prescription medication, keep a copy of your doctor’s notes, and keep copies of any letters you get from the at-fault driver’s insurance company.
Keeping these records will help your legal claim. They can help show the immediate effects of the accident and how it has impacted your ability to go about your daily life. Getting these records can present some issues for your legal team, too. Having them handy and ready to give copies to your lawyer at your first meeting can help speed up the process.
Do Not Speak With the Insurance Company of the Other Driver
After you’ve sustained injuries in a preventable Boston car accident that someone else caused, the at-fault party’s insurance company may call to speak with you and take a recorded statement. The insurance representative may make the conversation seem unimportant and a starting point for further negotiations, but the true motive is to glean information that may hurt your claim.
Insurance representatives may ask you confusing questions or try to get you to talk. They may attempt to use anything that you say against you to suggest that you played a part in causing the accident. Even a seemingly innocent statement like “I looked away for a second” could result in the insurance company denying your claim. You may need to move forward with a lawsuit to collect maximum damages.
Do Speak With Your Own Insurance Company
You should call your own insurance company, however, and let it know about your accident, even if you played no part in causing it. Your insurance company may send a local representative to your accident scene to help you and to collect its own evidence.
When your insurance company takes pictures and makes notes about the accident, it can provide valuable details. However, you also want to make sure that you do not say anything to your insurance company that could seem as if you’re taking any blame for the accident.
Keep a Journal
After a Boston car accident, your life may change forever. Getting used to this shift in your life can take time, and it can also have an impact on your physical and mental recovery.
By writing in a journal each day, you create a record, in your own words, of your recovery process. You can make a note about how you feel on a given day, any progress you have made, any setbacks you have encountered, and any hurdles you have faced on your path to recovery. This information paints a picture of your recovery process. Even minor injuries can derail your life for a few days or weeks and can take time to heal. Putting these feelings into your own words can help your legal team show just what you had to endure to make a full recovery.
Speak With a Boston Car Accident Lawyer
After a Boston car accident, you should speak with an experienced attorney. Your ability to collect maximum compensation from the at-fault driver may depend on the lawyer you choose to represent your best interests. You need to choose a lawyer with proven experience helping car accident injury victims like you recover compensation for their injuries.
The last thing you want at a time like this is to feel saddled with astronomical medical expenses. You should focus your efforts on your health and wellbeing, not worry about how you will pay for all the medical attention you may desperately need.
With an aggressive legal advocate on your side, you can reduce your anxiety and your stress about paying your regular bills and your medical bills. This gives you the best opportunity to focus on your health and getting back on your feet.
What a Lawyer Can Do for You
Fight for Compensation
When you sustain injuries in a Boston car accident, even if your injuries only require a few doctor visits and prescription drugs, you should not have to cover those expenses. If someone else causes your injuries, they should bear the costs of those injuries, not you.
To help you achieve that goal, you should work with a trusted Boston car accident lawyer who can help you recover compensation for the following damages:
- Pain and suffering
- Emotional distress
- Lost income
- Lost earning potential
- Loss of companionship
- Loss of life enjoyment
- Present and future medical expenses
- Rehabilitation costs
Many car accident injury victims vastly underestimate the amount of money they will need to recover to pay their medical bills. That doesn’t even include compensation needed to cover lost income from missing work.
Your lawyer can help you understand just how much money even small injuries may require. If you spend any time out of work, the amount of money you will need only goes up. If you settle your case too quickly and for too little money, you will have to shoulder the burden of the medical bills and financial losses you face. You can avoid this by partnering with a skilled car accident injury attorney in Boston.
To ensure that your car accident injury claim receives adequate attention from an insurance company or court, you need to make sure that you meet certain deadlines when filing it. However, you should focus on your physical and mental recovery, not feel stressed worrying about strict legal process rules. Your lawyer can worry about this for you.
Every state limits the amount of time you have to file a car accident injury claim. Massachusetts law imposes a time limit of three years. This might sound like a long time as you look forward, but it will go by quickly.
Consider the hurdles you may face during this time:
- Extended hospital stays
- Multiple medical procedures
- Numerous doctor visits
- Prescription medication costs
- Time out of work
- In-facility rehabilitation
- In-home care
- Daily life adjustments
If this important filing deadline slips by, you won’t have many options for pursuing compensation. You will likely bear the brunt of the financial burden for your medical expenses and any other financial losses. Do not let this happen to you; speak with a car crash lawyer today.
Partner With an Experienced Boston Car Accident Lawyer
Choosing a lawyer involves a personal decision, but you should feel good about the attorney that you select. You just need to find a lawyer that has proven experience helping other accident injury victims recover compensation for their injuries. You also need to hire a lawyer with whom you feel comfortable—someone who treats you like a person, not just another number. Look for compassionate and aggressive Boston car accident legal advocacy today to learn more about how we can help you recover compensation following a car accident.