7 Critical Steps To Take After a New Haven, CT Auto Accident

Car Accidents On Thursday, February 25, 2021

There are things you legally have to do after getting in an auto accident in New Haven, Connecticut. You may not realize, however, that there are also steps you should take to protect your legal rights as an injured victim. From the day your car accident takes place, an auto insurance company may try to undermine the value or validity of your claim. Take the following steps to receive a fair settlement for your injuries and losses.

Contact the Police

In Connecticut, all drivers lawfully must come to a stop immediately after a car accident. All drivers must pull over, check for injuries and render aid, if necessary. If the car crash appears to have caused any physical injuries, deaths or at least $1,000 in property damage, the law also requires drivers to call the police to report the crash from the scene.

Do not let the other driver involved in your crash convince you not to call the police. Calling 911 can lead to important evidence to support your insurance claim later, such as a traffic ticket issued against the at-fault driver for an infraction. Information from the police report is something an auto insurance company will depend upon to decide on your claim.

Exchange Information – But Do Not Admit Fault

Another legal requirement in New Haven, CT is to exchange information with the other driver in the car accident. Give your name, address, phone number, license plate number, driver’s license number and car insurance information. When speaking to the other driver, be polite, but do not apologize for the crash. This could be misconstrued as you accepting the blame. Do not admit any fault for the car accident to the other driver or the police.

Gather Evidence

Connecticut is a fault-based car accident state. This means you will bring your insurance claim with the carrier of the at-fault driver. To succeed with a claim, you must prove the other driver’s fault using evidence. If you are physically able, begin collecting evidence while still at the scene of the car accident:

  • Take photographs and videos using a cell phone
  • Write down the names and phone numbers of any eyewitnesses
  • Visit nearby businesses to check for surveillance footage
  • Write down your police report number

If you are too injured to collect evidence yourself, have a trusted friend or family member do so for you. You can also trust the police to gather evidence and take official photographs on your behalf.

See a Doctor

Go to a hospital in New Haven immediately after a car accident, whether or not you have noticeable injuries. Even if you feel uninjured, the car accident may have given you an injury with hidden or delayed symptoms, such as bleeding or swelling of the brain. A doctor can diagnose any injuries and create medical records for your insurance claim. Keep up with your treatment plan to show an insurance company you did your best to mitigate your losses.

Keep an Injury Journal

Although you have already given a detailed description to the police, write down what happened in a journal for your own records. Recording an account of the car accident, how your injuries make you feel, and how the accident has impacted your life can help prove your tangible and intangible losses to an insurance company. Be sure to include your physical pain and emotional suffering. A detailed injury journal can help prove pain and suffering to a jury.

Start an Insurance Claim

As soon as you can, call the at-fault driver’s insurance company to make an initial crash report. Do not sign off on any document sent to you from the insurance company, however, and do not accept a settlement without first consulting with an attorney.

Contact a Car Accident Attorney in New Haven

Call a car accident attorney in New Haven to discuss your legal rights. An attorney can carefully review the facts of your case and may offer to represent you during insurance claim negotiations or a personal injury lawsuit. If you’ve been injured in a car accident in New Haven, contact Loughlin FitzGerald, P.C. today for a free initial consultation.

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