Small cities like Melrose with a population of around 28,000 have major auto accidents like any other municipality despite its suburban and rural qualities. All it takes is a moment of inattention on the part of a motorist at an intersection or an act of carelessness caused by alcohol or drug impairment and a serious or even catastrophic accident can result. Accidents can and do happen to anyone, but it helps if you are prepared before an accident happens so should you file an injury claim, you have a much better opportunity to collect the full value of your claim. Also, remember to retain a Melrose car accident lawyer to represent you.
If you live in Melrose, here are the 8 things you MUST do after a car accident:
- Check to see if you or your passengers are injured. If so, remain in your vehicle and call 911 or instruct someone to do so.
- Do not talk to the other party involved about how the accident occurred or what injuries you may have. If you can, exchange license, registration and insurance information only and wait for the police and emergency vehicles if needed.
- Take photographs of damage to any of the vehicles, of the accident site and roadway and of the parties involved. Many times, vehicles are moved before the police arrive or someone may attempt to cover up evidence of fault. Accident scene photographs can expose potential road defects and be powerful evidence of injuries and property damage that can show a severe impact. Also, take photographs of your injuries if you have scars, broken limbs or any other visible injuries.
- Talk to the investigating officer but do not exaggerate or speculate regarding time, speed or distance estimates. If you are injured, advise the officer and do not refuse medical treatment.
- Report the claim to your insurance company. Most policies require that you report as soon as you can and that you fully cooperate. This also gives you an opportunity to find out about your coverage, medical pay and PIP benefits. If you have any questions about the insurance investigation, contact a Melrose car accident attorney.
- Do not give a statement to the other party’s insurance adjuster or investigator without first obtaining legal advice. In many instances, giving an apparently innocuous statement can inadvertently minimize your injuries, include you as comparatively liable for the accident and drastically reduce your claim’s value.
- Seek immediate medical attention. If you wait or try to self-treat, the defendant adjuster will claim you were not injured in the accident, or you waited until you saw an attorney before going to a medical facility that suggests you are merely looking for a payout, or suffered only minor injuries.
- Retain Melrose car accident attorney Deborah Gold-Alexander. Studies show that claimants who have legal counsel for car accident injuries recover substantially more in compensation than those who represent themselves, even accounting for legal fees. Many accidents have complex issues regarding insurance coverage, liability, the possible fault of other parties and evidentiary concerns that only an experienced and knowledgeable accident attorney knows how to address.
Deborah Gold-Alexander is a Melrose attorney with nearly 30 years’ experience representing the interests of Melrose residents and others injured in motor vehicle accidents. She will handle all your insurance issues, ensure that you receive your PIP and other benefits, prepare your settlement package with all necessary records and documentation and negotiate the compensation your case deserves. Ms. Gold-Alexander does not collect any compensation until you receive your settlement or money verdict. Contact her today for an assessment of your injury claim and to protect your rights as an injured victim.