Car Accident Lawyer in Scottsdale, Arizona
– In today’s video, we’re talking about car accidents, and specifically, what you should do after you’ve been involved in an accident, and what you should not do.
So, on this whiteboard I have a list of the dos and the do nots, if you or somebody you know or love has been involved in a car accident.
So let’s say something happens, a car accident just occurs, there’s a serious accident, serious injuries, serious property damage, everybody gets out of their cars, everybody’s standing around, what should we do?
Let’s run down the list of the dos.
First and foremost, you want to make sure that you are exchanging information, okay?
In Arizona, there’s what’s called an accident exchange form, you’re going to want to make sure that you are filling that out, or someone else is doing that, law enforcement is doing that for you, and you’re giving them the information that is needed for that.
So sometimes people will want to refuse to give insurance or their license or those types of things, you’re obligated to exchange that information. Make sure that you do that. The other thing that you want to do, begin gathering evidence.
So, if you’ve got a cellphone with a camera on it, most people do these days, take some pictures. Take some pictures of the damage, take some pictures of the road, take some pictures of the weather, the traffic conditions, whether there was any construction in the area, all sorts of things, you want to take some pictures of that, because these cases can take several months or several years to resolve, and you want to make sure that you have a contemporary record of what happened on the day of the accident. So begin gathering evidence.
Now, if you are seriously injured and you’re in the back of an ambulance, you of course cannot do that, but if not, do what you can, take a few minutes to collect yourself and then start to gather some evidence. Take some pictures, and make sure that stuff is being saved, it’s being uploaded to the Cloud, you’re not going to lose it.
The next thing you want to do, get medical care. So, even if it’s a minor accident, even if you’ve got some bumps and bruises and some scrapes, you want to go see a doctor, you want to make sure they’re checking things out, like your neck, make sure your eyesight looks good, your head’s good, you’re not suffering from a concussion, you’re not going to be suffering from any more severe injuries that you don’t remember.
If you’ve been involved in an accident, your body’s going to tense up, your body’s going to lock up and protect yourself, protect your inner organs, protect your neck, protect your brain, protect your heart, and you may not know that you’ve been injured because you’ve got adrenaline pumping, you’ve got nerves, you’re all jacked up on energy because you’ve just been involved in something serious and life-threatening. So, your body will lock up and you won’t feel anything until several days down the road when, at that point in time, you’ll notice an injury.
So you want to make sure that you’re getting the medical treatment that you need, don’t delay that, it never hurts to just go see a doctor and say look, I’ve been involved in an accident, I need to be seen. If you do not have a medical provider that you have immediately available, give us a call, we have several people that we work with, we can get you in right away. Finally, you want to make sure that you call an accident attorney. Should be pretty obvious, part of the reason I’m making this video is to explain to people how we can help them.
These are some of the things you should do and not do, but definitely you should give us a call. We help people resolve these situations, get compensated for their loss, property damage, medical bills, make sure they get the appropriate treatment they need, make sure that they’re not getting low-balled by the insurance company.
You want to make sure that you are contacting us, or another accident attorney, just to help you through the process because it can be complicated and we see a lot of people get taken advantage of. So, those are the dos. On the do nots list, let’s run through them. First and foremost, don’t panic. Like I said over here on the dos list, you’ve been involved in an accident.
It’s a lot easier for me to sit here behind the camcorder and tell you not to panic, but if you have been involved in an accident, try not to panic, okay?
As long as you’re okay, get out of the vehicle, try to collect yourself, make sure that you’re not bleeding or anything and need immediate medical attention, but just try to stay calm. A lot of people will make mistakes when they’re not calm.
You’re going to be okay, so try not to panic. The next thing, you want to make sure that you’re not saying or admitting to anything. So don’t say, don’t sign anything. If you’re being issued a traffic ticket, you can sign the ticket, but if they’re asking you to sign a statement like you’re at fault, or if somebody’s asking you why did you run that red light, you want to make sure you’re not saying anything because at this point in time, some of this information can be used against you, they can start taking your statements to show that you’re at fault for the accident when that may not be the truth at all.
Again, you’ve just been involved in an accident, your mind’s probably racing, your head’s spinning a little bit, so you don’t really know what you’re saying, so the best thing you can do is to not say anything.
Also, don’t blame anybody and don’t accept the blame.
Don’t apologize, don’t say I’m so sorry for that, even if you’re just sorry that the accident happened, not that you caused it, you’re still sounding like you’re at fault for it. So just saying I’m so sorry, are you okay, I’m so sorry that you’re hurt, that’s something that the insurance companies and the opposing party will say well, that individual was admitting responsibility by acknowledging that they’re sorry for causing the accident.
And so they’ll take one little word or one little phrase and they will extrapolate that and suddenly, try to impute all the liability on you. So don’t apologize, don’t try to make excuses, don’t try to do anything, just, as this one said, just try not to say anything. Of course, if 911 needs to be called, call the police, say there was an accident involved, somebody’s seriously injured, please send an ambulance.
That type of stuff is okay, but when it comes to determining whether you’re at fault for something or not, keep your mouth shut, it’s the best rule of advice. Also, don’t wait to get medical treatment. Goes hand-in-hand with here, get medical treatment, don’t wait. So you may be planning on getting medical treatment, you may say I’m going to go tomorrow, I’m going to go the next day, I’m going to go a week from the next day I have to put time in to get time off of work, don’t wait that long, go do it immediately.
Some people will say that they’re going to go do it, they wait a couple days, then they don’t do it. That can really hurt our claim when we’re filing one with the insurance company because now they’re saying this person wasn’t really injured, this person’s filing a claim after having spoken to an attorney or whatever, they’ll try to say there’s an alternative reason for it.
Reality is, don’t wait, just go get some medical treatment. You’re entitled to it, that’s what insurance is for, you only have one body, you need to go make sure it’s checked out, make sure that you’re okay, make sure you haven’t done any permanent damage, or had a minor concussion, or impacted your sense of smell or eyesight or tingling fingers or whatever it is, go get medical treatment. Also, do not give a statement to the insurance company unless you have spoken with an attorney.
Don’t start talking to the insurance company. They’re going to call you right away, they’re going to probably send you letters, they’re going to try to get in touch with you, they want you to give them a statement, they want you to get on the record and have a recorded conversation with them because they’re going to try to extract some liability out of you.
They’re going to want to ask you certain questions and walk you down a road where they can trap you into liability, that way they don’t have to pay out the full amount of the claim, that way they can reduce your compensation.
So don’t make any statements unless you’ve spoken with an attorney. And finally, don’t wait to call an accident lawyer. Again, want to reiterate it, we offer free case evaluations, we don’t charge you anything up front to represent you on your case, we only get paid if we are able to have a successful resolution, if we’re able to adequately represent you, get you the compensation, get you the medical treatment you deserve, we do the whole thing on what’s called a contingency fee, so if there’s no recovery, we don’t get anything, nothing comes out of your pocket. So give us a call, you literally have nothing to lose.
We’re going to walk you through what to do next, we’re going to make sure that you’re doing all of the right things, and you are not doing all of the wrong things, we’re going to walk you through the process, get you the proper medical care, get you full compensation, make sure that we can help put your life back together again.
So, give us a call, we look forward to working with you, look forward to speaking with you, thanks for watching.
What to DO and NOT DO after an Accident in Arizona
If you are in car accident, it can be unclear what to do and what not to do. However, there are certain things that could help or hurt your claim after an accident. Here are some things that you should do and should not do after a car accident:
- Exchange Contact Information
In Arizona, we have something called an Accident Information Exchange Form. You will want to fill this out or have a police officer fill it out for you. The information on the form includes items such as insurance and license information.
The provision of this information is required by law in Arizona, so you will want to make sure that you give all the necessary information in order to fill the form out properly.
- Gather Evidence
If you have a phone with a camera, and you are able, take pictures of the accident. You will want to take as many pictures as possible in order to document the damage, road conditions, weather, traffic conditions, road construction, etc.
Cases can take a long time to resolve, and it will help you to have a record as accurate as possible of the accident.
- Get Medical Care
Even if you are in a minor accident, you must go see a doctor to make sure you get the medical treatment you need.
All too often, people are injured without even knowing it, and if they don’t get treatment right away, their injuries can get worse. That is why it is very important to seek medical attention immediately following an accident.
- Call an Accident Lawyer A.S.A.P.
You need to be compensated for you loss, including medical bills and property damage. Having an attorney protects you from getting a poor settlement that doesn’t properly address your needs.
The process can be complicated, and too many people get taken advantage of because they don’t contact an attorney right away to help them through it.
Being in an accident can be a very traumatic experience, and the instinct to panic is a normal, natural response. However, panicking can cloud your judgement, and it becomes easy to make mistakes.
If you are in an accident, make sure that you don’t need any immediate medical help. If not, do your best to collect yourself and stay calm.
- Say or Sign Anything
If you are issued a traffic ticket, you can sign the ticket; but if you are asked to sign a statement saying you are at fault, or if you are being asked questions such as, “Why did you run that red light?” make sure you are not making any definitive statements.
Anything you say will be used to make it seem like you are at fault, even if you aren’t.
- Blame Anyone or Apologize
Apologizing to any degree can look like you are admitting fault, even if that is not your intention. Insurance companies and opposing parties will claim that you are admitting responsibility if you are apologizing, even if it is something as simple and genuine as, “I’m sorry you are hurt.”
As little las one word or phrase can be used against you. That is why it is best to abstain from apologizing in any way, regardless of who is at fault.
- Wait to Get Medical Treatment
There are many reasons why people postpone getting medical treatment. However, waiting can hurt your claim because the other parties will try to make it seem like you weren’t really injured.
Most importantly, you need to make sure that you are okay. Some injuries may not be immediately apparent but can be made worse by going untreated. It is very important that you seek medical care immediately after an accident.
- Give a Statement to Insurance
Unless you have already spoken with an attorney, you should not give any recorded statements to an insurance company. Insurance companies will be contacting you trying to get statements from you; they will be trying to extract liability from what you say. This can affect the compensation you receive as a result of the claim.
- Wait to Call an Accident Lawyer
Accident attorneys exist to help in situations like these. After a traumatic accident, you need adequate medical treatment and compensation. That is why you need an attorney: to ensure that you fairly receive what you are entitled to.
Contact our office at (602) 362-7874 to schedule a complimentary case evaluation with a Car Accident Lawyer.