Some best practices to keep in mind if you're in an auto accident.

Nobody expects to be in an auto accident, but insurers estimate that you'll be involved in a collision once every 17.9 years -- at least, that's the nationwide average. In Colorado, we face our own set of challenges such as inclement weather, mountain driving, heavy congestion, and more. One study by the Highway Loss Data Institute even links legalized marijuana to increased numbers of traffic incidents.

So it goes without saying that you probably know what to do if you're involved in a collision (instructions are typically on your insurance card), but do you know what to do in the aftermath of an accident? Below are a few tips to protect yourself.

But first, it should be noted that you should always call the police and take as many photographs as you can. 

Immediately after the collision, write down everything that happened and photograph any injuries you may have sustained. Next, call an accident injury attorney – seriously, they're a great resource. Insurance companies are trying to pay as little as possible, and that means there are a lot of people that are severely under-compensated for the damages they've sustained.

Regardless of how you feel about attorneys or insurance companies, that's just not right, and getting an attorney's opinion on your case (which is typically free) can mean the difference between getting back on your feet or going bankrupt. It's a no-brainer. 

Thus, they'll most likely tell you not to settle with the insurance company, and see a doctor immediately. If you wait too long, it may be difficult for your doctor to attribute any injuries directly to the event. It can also take some time for injuries to manifest themselves, so you want to make sure your health issues are completely resolved before you reach an agreement.

Should you start to have issues, but you've already settled, you could be stuck with some stratospheric medical bills.

Lastly, in the state of Colorado, the statutes of limitation for an auto accident claim is three years, so you have some time. However, the sooner you start working with an attorney, the better, as they'll help you keep records to start building a strong case. 

What are your thoughts? Do you think there are more accidents on the road? If so, why? Let us know in the comments below!

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