If my accident has just now occurred, what should I do to protect a potential injury claim?

Right after an accident you should document what happened and be careful what you say about it. Taking the proper steps and avoiding mistakes after an accident can have a significant impact on the success of a subsequent claim for compensation.

If you can, get photos of the accident scene, such as cars in a collision or a wet spot that led to a slip-and-fall accident. Photograph property damage, your injuries and any conditions that may have contributed to the accident. If there are witnesses, get their names and contact information or record statements.

As you deal with your accident and injury, anything that documents what happened to you may serve as evidence later. Save reports and/or receipts for everything. Report the accident promptly to police and your insurance company (especially a car accident). See a doctor, even if you don’t feel like you are badly hurt. Follow the doctor’s advice. If a doctor places you out of work, get a written note and keep a copy.

As you recover, consider a written, audio or video journal of your gains and setbacks.

Meanwhile, be careful what you say when talking to police, insurers and others about the accident. Do not admit fault and do not downplay the harm the accident has caused you. Answer questions truthfully, but do not provide information beyond what is asked. Do not sign anything from any insurance company without the advice of a lawyer.

Finally, protect your rights by contacting an experienced car accident lawyer. A Hardison & Cochran attorney can explain your rights and legal options at no cost to you. Once engaged as your attorneys, we will represent you in all dealings with insurers and others connected to the aftermath of your accident.