Here's what your dad probably taught you when you first started driving. If you get in an accident, call the police and get the insurance information. They pay for the damage, and you deal with your end.
That's good advice, but it's not the whole story.
The truth is that any insurance adjuster, in any industry, is tasked with limiting both liability and financial exposure on behalf of their company. Which means that you have to be prepared to prove, and fight for, the benefits that you are owed after a car accident.
Now first of all -- follow your dad's advice because without a police report it can be very difficult to enforce an insurance claim: especially if you are seriously injured. Make sure all of the insurance information is getting on the police report (simply speak to the officer about it) and make sure you have the same information for your personal records. Get the name of your officer and his badge information. This is all just very simple information gathering that you do after an auto accident.
You will also want to photograph all of the damage (both to your car and theirs) before the other driver drives away because you will likely never see them again.
Next, we would recommend always going to the emergency room, even if you don't have a serious injury. Some injuries are latent and you won't feel their effects until weeks down the road. If you have something like a sore neck and spine, you may not even relate it to the injury if it starts hurting later. It's always better to get checked out immediately, and then once you start to experience symptoms, visit your primary care doctor.
Now, when do you need a lawyer for your accident case?
Most of the time if your injuries are minor and the insurance company is cooperating, you can probably handle the case on your own with one of our free books or reports to assist you.
But, if you have more serious injuries with protracted medical care, surgery, and can't work, you will probably need an attorney to prove your case and negotiate a settlement on your behalf. (plus determine how much insurance coverage the at fault driver has and file a lawsuit to hold that driver and his insurance company accountable).
We'll help you do what's right for you and your familly after a car accident in DC, Maryland or Virginia. Call us at (202) 393 - 3320 to get started.