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What you should do after a car accident

A side impact car accident with extensive damage to both vehicles
Chaos is the immediate aftereffect of any car accident in Georgetown or anywhere else in Delaware. If you are prepared, though, you can save yourself a lot of trouble and maybe even someone’s life. Here is some advice from the legal team at the Law Office of Edward C. Gill, P.A.

What You Should Do at the Scene

In addition to knowing the rules of the road and practicing safe driving, it is the responsibility of every driver to be prepared for the worst – an accident. Knowing how to handle the situation can make a major difference at an accident scene. Here are some tips from AAA:

1. If someone needs medical assistance, immediately call 911. Even if no injuries are apparent, call 911. The police who respond will file a report that can be vital to your case, especially if citations are issued.
2. Cooperate with police, but do not offer too much information. Even seemingly innocent statements, such as “I did not see the other vehicle until it was too late,” can come back to haunt you. The same applies when talking to people at the scene. Do not let anyone pressure you into accepting fault. Stay as calm as possible.
3. If possible, move your vehicle, turn on the hazard lights, and place warning flares or reflective triangles to caution other drivers.
4. Document the scene, including weather, traffic signs or signals, intersections, and road conditions. Take photographs and/or video of the people involved in the crash, damage, and the immediate surrounding area.
5. Exchange information with everyone at the scene, including witnesses. Obtain their names, home and email addresses, telephone numbers, vehicle descriptions, vehicle identification and license plate numbers, driver’s license numbers, and insurance information.

What You Should Do Later

1. See your doctor as soon as possible for any injury, no matter how minor you think it may be. Common injuries are whiplash and concussions, but some serious injuries can develop days or even weeks after an accident. Not reporting an injury immediately will look suspicious to an insurance company.
2. Contact your insurance company to start the important process of filing a claim.
3. Have repairs made to your vehicle. Regardless of what an insurer may tell you, you have the right to have your vehicle repaired at the shop of your choice.
4. If your crash involved an unattended vehicle or property, contact the owner. If you cannot identify the owner, leave a written notice with your contact information on the vehicle or property. Failure to do so can have legal consequences.

What You Should Do To Protect Yourself

The unfortunate fact is that you can do everything listed here and still find yourself in trouble. If you were seriously injured, you may be out of work, unable to pay bills, and support your family. If another driver is blaming you for the accident, it may turn into a case of your word against theirs, especially if the police did not determine fault. An insurance company, which has no interest in making large payouts, may try pressuring you into accepting a lowball settlement offer. At any time, an innocent mistake on your part can undermine your entire case.

The fortunate fact is that the car accident lawyers at The Law Offices of Edward C. Gill, P.A., have 37 years of experience protecting the interests of crash victims just like you in Georgetown, as well as throughout Sussex County and all of Delaware. They know how to successfully take on the large insurance companies and the legal system. They will fight tirelessly to provide you with justice and a fair financial settlement. Contact us today for a free case consultation.

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