The aftermath of a car crash is often chaotic and rife with nervous tension. Unfortunately, this stress often causes accident victims to make mistakes that compromise their interests. Understanding how to respond to a collision not only can help ensure your safety, but it also may improve your chances of recovering compensation from the at-fault driver.
If you were recently involved in an auto accident and would like to speak with a Portland accident lawyer, contact The Law Office of Douglas Green at 503-935-5450. Mr. Green can evaluate your crash to determine if you may have valid grounds for a lawsuit.
In the meantime, read on to learn three steps that can protect your interests after a car accident:
- Exchange Information with Other Drivers
Even if the accident appears to be minor, you should exchange insurance and contact information with all drivers involved. If you fail to do this and it turns out that the crash caused an injury or property damage, then you may have difficulty filing a claim with the insurance company.
You should also record details about the accident. For example, write down the makes, models, years and colors of all vehicles involved. If you have a camera or smartphone, take photos of the scene, as well as any injuries or property damage.
- Report the Accident
According to the Oregon Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles, drivers do not need to report accidents unless they result in $1,500 in property damage, or if there has been an injury or death. However, even if you do not suspect significant property damage or physical harm, it may be wise to contact the police.
First, having an officer on the scene can prevent any potential conflicts with other drivers. If another driver becomes hostile, you should contact the police immediately.
Also, a police officer can create an official report, which will contain details about the accident. If you suffered an injury that was not immediately apparent – which happens more often than most people think – then this report may be able to tie the injury to the accident. The report can also help you prove that another driver was liable for the collision.
- Consult an Experienced Personal-Injury Lawyer
Even if it is clear that the other driver caused the accident, the process of recovering damages from a lawsuit involves several legal hurdles. While you focus on physical recovery, your attorney can gather evidence, structure your claim, handle settlement negotiations and litigate your case if it goes to trial. Perhaps most important, your lawyer can help you avoid making mistakes that could compromise your ability to recover compensation.
If you or a loved one has suffered severe injuries in an auto accident, then you likely have a number of questions about your options. The best source of information is a lawyer who has handled cases that are similar to yours. If you would like to speak with a Portland personal-injury attorney about a recent auto accident, contact The Law Office of Douglas Green today at 503-935-5450 to schedule a consultation.