What Steps Should I Take Following a Car Accident?
There are some very important steps you should take after a car accident to ensure you have a good chance of recovering damages for your injuries and vehicle damage. These include getting medical attention, exchanging contact and insurance information with the other driver, calling your insurance company, reporting the accident to the police and keeping records of the accident.
- Call 911 and seek emergency care: Even if you don’t feel any pain or injuries immediately, it is important to get checked out by an ambulance if the crash was serious. This will help to determine if any long-term issues are affecting your health and prevent you from suffering more severe injuries down the road.
- Collect and document evidence: This includes taking pictures of the scene of the crash, damage to vehicles and anything else that might be helpful when filing an insurance claim.
- Exchange information: This includes contact and insurance information with the other driver, which will be critical when negotiating a claim later on.
- Control the Scene: After the crash, move your vehicle to a safe place as soon as it is safe for you and other drivers to do so. This is especially crucial if there are other cars in the area and yours will be blocking traffic.
- Take a statement: It is important to write down what happened and why it occurred. This will help you to remember the events of the crash and make it easier to piece them together in the future.
- File a report: The police will provide you with a copy of a police report, which is important to file as soon as possible after the accident in case it is used as evidence by the other driver or their insurers.
- Get medical attention: It is also important to seek out a doctor to see what your injuries might be and how to treat them. This will help to determine if you need any surgery and ensure that your health is not at risk for long-term issues.
- Take notes: This will be useful in the event of a legal case. It will help to record the date and time of the accident, as well as your personal notes on what went on at the scene.
- Obtain and retain copies of your medical records: These can be invaluable for any legal case, no matter how minor the incident might seem at the time.
Likewise, it is essential to keep copies of any medical bills that are related to the crash. This will help to ensure that you have proof of all expenses and are able to prove what your medical bills are worth should you decide to sue for damages.
- Contact an attorney: It is always a good idea to consult with an experienced car accident lawyer as soon as possible after the incident. This will not only give you peace of mind, but it will also help to ensure that you don’t say or do anything that could hurt your chances of winning a claim in the long run.