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So many people are faced with this exact question if they have been injured in a car accident, slip and fall, or injured by product that was defectively manufactured or designed.

Lets start with the most common, car accidents. It happens to all of us, it could be as simple as being hit from behind by someone not paying attention, or by being sideswiped by someone that ran a red light. Here are some tips that everyone can use if they have been involved in a car accident:

1) Always call the police. If the person that hit you was clearly at fault, they may try to persuade you not to call the police and that they will do the right thing. This can cause all kinds of problems. First if the person doesn’t pay you to fix your car or pay your medical bills, and you try to sue them, you won’t have independent confirmation (Police report) that you did not cause the accident.

2) After you call the police don’t assume they will do their job thoroughly. Though most officers do a great job of collecting statements from witnesses and their contact information, it doesn’t hurt to do a little investigating yourself. If you see someone that says he/she saw the whole accident, ask for their phone number and address and thank them for helping.

3) Be careful about early settlements. If you are seriously injured I would never recommend an early resolution with an insurance company. You have no idea how long your injuries will last, and you certainly don’t know how much your medical bills will be as a result. Settling your case may be what you want to do, but by settling before you are fully healed is a recipe for disaster.

4) If you are seriously injured, always talk to an attorney first. Some car accidents where no one is injured and there is simply a claim for property damage, may be able to get resolved between yourself and the insurance company, but if you are injured in a car accident, always speak to attorney first. Insurance companies will try to pin you down on the injuries you sustained in the accident and any injuries not mentioned will be contested from that point forward.

These are simple tips that everyone should follow if they are involved in a car accident.

Please check part for part 2 of 3 where we discuss what to do if you have a slip and fall accident.

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