We are often asked, what are the critical steps that need to be taken if I’ve been involved in a motor vehicle accident to protect myself and any claim that I may have for compensation?

So, let’s start with the most important things that you need to do:

Immediately document how the accident occurred.

  • Don’t solely rely on the police and the police report.
  • Even before the police arrive, use your smartphone to photograph positions of the vehicles after the accident.
  • Get the names of any witnesses – sometimes they may leave before the police even arrive.
  • Make notes regarding what the other driver said after the accident.
  • If you’re unsure of what happened, don’t make statements, like “I’m sorry, I must not have been looking,” “I never saw you,” etc.
  • Don’t minimize any injuries received. Describe to the police officer responding any injuries you believe you have received.
  • Follow up as soon as possible with medical providers to learn the nature and extent of any of your injuries. 

Document your injuries in as great of detail as possible, and keep track of any and all subsequent visits to medical providers.

  • Have friends or family members photograph any injuries that are visible from day one, i.e. from the hospital bed.
  • Keep a log or diary, which describes any pain, suffering, or limitations in your life that occur as a result of the accident.

Contact an experienced motor vehicle accident attorney as soon as it’s practical.

  • Do this if there’s any question about how the accident occurred, i.e., who is at fault. Such contact should be made within days after the accident, so that the attorney can likely secure the services of an accident reconstruction expert to preserve evidence that might otherwise be lost.

For more information, and specific advice that relates to your accident, contact our law firm and obtain a copy of Joe's book, The Michigan Motor Vehicle Accident Book, or schedule an appointment to meet with one of the attorneys at Barberi Law.

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