What you say and do following a car accident can make the difference when you file a personal injury claim to recover your damages. Because victims often struggle with the physical, financial, and emotional burdens created by accidents, remembering the right things to do can be difficult.
That’s why working with an experienced lawyer can help ensure the correct steps are taken as you navigate your legal journey and pursue the compensation you deserve.
At Chaikin, Sherman, Cammarata & Siegel, P.C., our Washington, D.C. car accident lawyers provide step-by-step legal assistance to victims and families as soon as they seek help. You can also do your part to protect your rights by avoiding some common mistakes:
Leaving the Accident Scene
Leaving after colliding is a misdemeanor offense in D.C. that can result in a driver’s license suspension, points on your driving record, and a fine. In some cases, you may have left the scene without realizing you did anything wrong.
If that is the case, a police officer from the Metropolitan Police Department will send you a letter to come to the precinct and talk about the facts. It would be best if you went with a lawyer to that meeting, if you go at all.
Not Filing A Police Report
A police report is an objective record of what took place, and it may be a vital piece of evidence in proving what happened in your wreck. Police reports can also help prevent people from giving false identifying information.
Not Exchanging Information
Always exchange information with all parties involved in an accident, as well as any witnesses. This includes contact information of the other driver(s), driver’s license number, license plate, insurance company and policy number, and the make and model of the vehicles.
This is crucial information that can help you as you pursue recovery from your injuries. You should also still collect information even if you don’t think anyone is injured during the crash. Victims may not immediately feel pain or injuries.
Not Gathering Evidence
One of the most important things after an auto accident is gathering evidence. This includes taking photos of the damage to both vehicles, the accident scene, and your injuries; getting witness contact information; obtaining an accident report; and keeping track of your medical treatment.
Without evidence, it will be much more difficult to prove your case if you need to file a personal injury claim or lawsuit.
Not Seeking Timely Medical Treatment
Seeking timely medical treatment is important for both your health and your future claim. If you feel pain, prompt medical attention is crucial. Even if you don’t feel pain right after the accident, it’s important to have a physician properly assess you, as pain and injuries may not manifest until hours later or the following days.
By seeking timely medical treatment, you can ensure any serious injuries receive the attention they need. You also protect yourself by having a clear record of your injuries and treatment without the need to explain why you waited.
Trusting the Insurance Company?
Insurance companies (including your own) are in business to collect premiums, not pay out claims to victims. Because insurers are interested in protecting their bottom lines, they devote a lot of resources and effort toward minimizing or denying claims.
This means they’ll often try to settle quickly for less than victims deserve or look for ways to avoid paying anything. You can level the playing field by working with attorneys who know the tactics used by insurance companies.
Not Working With a Car Accident Attorney
One of the biggest mistakes victims make is attempting to handle their car accident claims independently. While there is no requirement to have a lawyer, having an experienced legal representative who is familiar with the process and how to produce the best results can make the difference between a fair settlement and no settlement at all.
Unfortunately, we often hear from victims who accepted low settlement offers from insurers or had their claims denied because they did not contact an attorney first.
How Chaikin, Sherman, Cammarata & Siegel, P.C. Can Help You With Your Car Accident Claim
The Washington, D.C. car accident lawyers with Chaikin, Sherman, Cammarata & Siegel, P.C. have a proven track record of success in helping clients obtain the maximum compensation possible for car accident injuries they have suffered due to the negligence of others. Our firm has consistently demonstrated we have the expertise needed to help our clients see that justice is served. We have the resources needed to conduct thorough investigations of all the circumstances contributing to a motor vehicle accident, gathering the evidence to establish liability and negligence.
Chaikin, Sherman, Cammarata & Siegel, P.C. has obtained more than $500 million in verdicts and settlements, and our attorneys have more than a century of combined legal experience. Two of our partners are certified by the National Board of Trial Advocacy. Our firm has also earned the highest AV® Rating from Martindale-Hubbell®, the most respected attorney-ranking service organization in the United States. Chaikin, Sherman, Cammarata & Siegel, P.C. attorneys work passionately on behalf of our clients to help them secure fair compensation – there is no type of case that is too complex for us to litigate.
Contact a Car Accident Lawyer Today for a Free Consultation
If you are looking for the highest level of representation available for your car accident case, turn to Chaikin, Sherman, Cammarata & Siegel, P.C. Our law firm has helped clients recover more than $500 million in compensation, and we have more than 100 years of combined experience. All of our partners are recognized by Washington, D.C. Super Lawyers®, and our firm includes three past presidents of the Trial Lawyers Association of Metropolitan Washington, D.C.
We work to help our clients obtain fair settlement offers to compensate them for the injuries they’ve suffered, but our attorneys are extremely well-equipped to go to trial if needed. We invite you to find out what makes us exceptional by scheduling a free case evaluation today. You can also read testimonials from clients we have helped throughout the years.
Contact our firm today for a FREE consultation. For more information about taking the right steps after an accident, download our E-book – Top 10 Mistakes Made After a Car Accident.