Car crashes: They happen far too often and often leave a path of confusion, pain, and hardship in their wake. From the very moment a collision occurs, the injured individuals are left wondering what’s next and what they need to do to get help.
A car accident is sudden and the initial state of shock is to be expected. This often results in individuals not knowing what they should do in order to protect their rights and the things they shouldn’t do to ensure they are not being taken advantage of.
We understand how important the steps are after an accident and what needs to be done by the parties involved. Here are the things you should and shouldn’t do after an accident to preserve your rights to seek compensation.
Check on all drivers and Passengers
First thing before assessing the damage of a car accident, make sure passengers and everyone that could be involved are okay. Call 911 immediately if for anyone who needs it. Anyone who may have back, brain, or spinal injury should be moved until appropriate medical personnel has arrived on the scene.
Stay at the Scene
Never leave the scene of an accident until everything is complete and it is okay to do so. Should you leave, you could get into serious trouble with the law. Especially if there are injuries or the accident ended fatally.
Moving the Vehicles Out of the Road
If possible, the vehicles should be moved off to the side of the road in order to prevent further risk of an accident. Typically, accidents occur in lanes, blocking traffic and putting all passengers involved at serious risk.
By moving the vehicles out of the way, you can continue collecting information, and it won’t impact the scene of the accident or evidence because you can still take photos. This is just a step to take to keep yourself and others safe.
Collect Important Personal & Insurance Information
After an accident, collecting specific information is critical to pursuing legal action or a settlement. First, make sure you get information about the driver and the vehicle. Ask for the driver’s license and contact information so your insurance company can reach out.
Also, make sure the responsible driver has insurance and get that information including policy number, name of insurer, and contact information. You want to give this information to your insurance company who will work to determine who is responsible and ways to collect compensation.
Take Photos If You Can
Photos are some of the best pieces of evidence you can have because it gives you a concrete view regarding a number of important factors. First, take photos of the scene of the accident including skid marks on the ground, any traffic signs or other obstructions, and the overall view of the scene.
Next, take pictures of your vehicle and the other individual’s vehicle, especially in the area the damage occurred. In some cases, the placement of the damage can help to show who was at fault in an accident and how the accident occurred.
Finally, take pictures of any visible injuries you may have sustained as a result of the accident. This may include lacerations, bruises, or visible broken bones. These can be used to show that the injuries occurred as a result of the accident.
Anything that looks like a picture should be taken, take it. Use your phone, camera; borrow someone's, anything you can do to get pictures of the incident. Get creative, anything that may help could end up helping you and your family.
Contact the Proper Authorities
Typically when an accident is severe, the authorities will come out to assist in moving the vehicles and taking down information from the parties involved. This is an important step as the police report may give a better indication of who was at fault in the accident.
Speak with Potential Witnesses
Many accidents occur in populated areas where other drivers and pedestrians are present to witness the crash. These people can be very helpful when pursuing legal action in a car accident case. You want to make sure that you’re talking to them and collecting their information.
Insurance companies often consider witnesses when determining liability and these individuals may also be available should a car accident case go to trial. They can be used to reaffirm your side of the story regarding the incident.
Get Medical Attention
Even if you don’t feel as though you suffered an injury, it’s important to seek medical attention as some injuries may not appear for a few hours or even a couple of days. If a paramedic is on scene, get checked out or make your way a hospital immediately.
Medical treatment can also be beneficial to the legal matters of a car crash. This is because medical records can be used as evidence to prove that the injury was in fact caused by the negligence-related car accident.
Contact an Attorney
An attorney can help you protect your rights. For instance, you should know what not to say, especially following the crash. Even saying sorry can be construed as an admission of guilt. Also, speaking with the responsible party’s insurance company without a lawyer can be dangerous.
A car accident lawyer understands how accidents often occur and can use the evidence to help prove negligence. Your representation can also deal with the insurance company on your behalf so you never have to worry or feel overwhelmed about a situation.
Be Careful Who you Talk to
Use caution when talking about the accident. Don't just talk to anyone about what happened, there is always someone listening. Talk with your attorney, your insurance company, and the police, that's it. Don't talk with any other representative of another insurance company without your attorney present or knowing of the conversation.
When it comes to protecting the rights of injury victims, our firm never backs down. In fact, we go the extra mile, utilizing accident reconstructionists, evidence, and expert testimony to help build a strong case on your behalf.
It is our goal to guide you through the complex legal process so you can focus on your own recovery while we pursue compensation and justice on your behalf. From start to finish, you’ll have dedicated representation working to protect your best interests.
Auto accidents are a scary and daunting experience. Getting help is crucial. You shouldn’t have to endure the consequences of someone else’s negligent actions and we work to see to it they are held accountable.
If you’ve been injured in a car accident, know your rights! Call us today at (801) 900-4681 and speak with our team about your potential case.