Immediately following a motor vehicle accident, it can be difficult to determine whether anyone involved in the crash – including yourself – will decide to file a legal claim later down the road. Luckily, this isn't something that is required. Instead, you should take the proper precautions to prepare in the event a lawsuit is filed. After all, you cannot travel back in time and you want to make sure you're prepared. Here are three time periods that you need to bear in mind and what will take place during those timeframes that relate to your potential car claim:
1. Following the Car Crash
As soon as the crash occurs, you will probably be in shock. This is completely understandable. However, once the shock wears off enough, you should look yourself over as well as everyone in the car with you. Then, make certain everyone else involved in the crash is okay. Apart from calling the police and an ambulance, make certain that you don't forget to call your auto insurer. This is critical because if you fail to do this, you may find it difficult to recover monetary damages for medical bills, auto repair and property damage from them.
2. Period of Evidence Collecting
Police will begin collecting evidence from the scene of the accident immediately following the crash. Make sure you cooperate with the police, but never admit that you are at fault for anything at all. While the police are gathering evidence, this doesn't mean that you can't collect your own evidence. In fact, you should. For example, your mind is known to push traumatic events to the side and you may end up forgetting important details down the road. So, as soon as you can, grab a pen and a piece of paper and write down everything that you can about the accident. You should also take pictures of the scene. If possible, talk with witnesses who may have seen what happened and take notes, along with their contact information in case you need to get in touch with them again in the future. Many people overlook these steps, as they think this is something that the police should do. However, it doesn't hurt to conduct your own mini investigation as you never know when your own information may come in handy down the line.
3. Litigation Period
Should the evidence that is gathered enlighten you to pursue a formal legal claim, you will enter into the litigation period. During this period, it may be a good idea to consult with a knowledgeable car accident attorney, like one from the Law Office of Daniel E Goodman, LLC. In some cases, even if there isn't any evidence that jumps out at you and screams that there is something wrong, you may want to have an expert look over the police report and what evidence that has been gathered thus far (including the information that you collected yourself in addition to the police evidence) to make sure that everything is up to standard. Sometimes, there are implications that only a professional would notice, which may warrant the filing of a lawsuit and the pursuit of a substantial financial award.