Car accidents can be incredibly scary, especially if injuries and property damage are involved. Accidents can also be confusing. In the heat of the moment, you might forget everything you have been told over the years about what to do when you are involved in an accident.
This guide is meant to help you understand the important steps involved after you are in a car accident. Forgetting even one of these steps could make the process of dealing with the aftermath slightly harder.
Call the Police
No matter how severe the accident, calling the police to receive a report of the incident is helpful. It can establish who is at fault for the accident. This will be handy if you need to go to court later, as the document will have details about the case immediately after it happened.
Exchange Insurance Information
One of the first things you need to do is obtain information about the other drivers and cars involved. Most insurance companies offer a card with all the necessary information, but you also need to get the car’s license number and the other driver’s name and phone number.
Receive Necessary Medical Care
One of the biggest mistakes car accident victims make is refusing medical care. They often don’t realize that they have injuries because of the body’s adrenaline keeping it going. Look for some of the more subtle signs of injury, including dizziness, numbness and nausea. Your injury may not be obvious at first, but it could present worse symptoms later.
You need to recover from any injuries, not allow them to worsen. Be honest with the medical professionals about your injuries and how you feel. Waiting too long to see a doctor could make it difficult to prove that the injuries you received were caused by the car accident.
You also need evidence that medical care can provide for you. Bills and records can provide support for your claims if you ever need to go to court about the accident.
Be Aware of Potential Evidence
At the scene of the accident, you need to gather a variety of evidence. Photos of all vehicles involved, signage, road quality and injuries are essential. They can shed light on how the accident occurred for insurance and court purposes.
Additionally, take photos of injuries and wounds as they worsen or improve. This will help back up the necessity of your medical bills and demonstrate that the medical care you received was necessary.
Witness statements are also helpful tools after a car accident. Credible accounts will help you in court, and so will witnesses with dashcams in their cars. Gather the names and phone numbers of those who witnessed the accident. Remember that every claim you make about the accident must be substantiated if you go to court.
Call Your Auto Insurance Company
Your next step is to get in touch with your insurance company. When you do this, avoid giving a recorded statement or accepting blame for the accident. State the facts of the accident without additional commentary.
Hire a Car Accident Attorney
If there is any dispute about your car accident involving insurance or injuries, you need to hire a lawyer. Personal injury and car accident attorneys understand the burden of proof required when you are facing off against an insurance company in court. Lawyers understand every minuscule detail of the law in cases like these.
Not sure where to start? The Law Offices of Rick D. Steinberg, LLC, can help you through this difficult process. All you need is to contact us now to schedule a consultation with us.