No one likes to think about the possibility of being injured in a car accident. After years of experience in the personal injury area, however, our attorneys encourage others to always be prepared for the worst-case scenario. On average, there are six million car accidents in the U.S. annually and more than three million people injured as a result. Many of these people find it beneficial to hire a lawyer to protect their legal rights.
Unfortunately, the lawyers at SBW&P often see clients who make mistakes before they get to our office that compromise their rights and hurt their case. The number one mistake we see clients making is failing to get information from people who witnessed the accident. We want to make sure you don’t make the same mistake.
Should you ever find yourself in an accident, the obvious first action is to access the
seriousness of any injuries and seek medical attention, if needed. The very next step is to get the information of all witnesses present. This includes names, phone numbers and addresses. While it is understandable that the trauma of a wreck brings about a great amount of stress and panic, it is no time to shut down and have a “handle it later” attitude.
Should you decide to hire a lawyer after your accident, witnesses are often key to the case, especially if the insurance company is denying liability. Third party witnesses do not have a stake in the outcome and therefore can be powerful advocates for you in negotiating with an insurance company or at trial. Far too many times, though, we see injury clients that failed to get even basic information from people who saw the accident. Without names and contact information, it is very difficult for us as lawyers get in touch with the witnesses to learn what they know about the accident. The case increases in time and cost while the monetary recovery the client is likely to receive decreases.
If you ever find yourself as one of the three million injured a year in an automobile accident, don’t forget to get the contact information of those present. It can make all the difference in your case. Our attorneys want you to be prepared in every situation.