Steps to Take After a Car Accident
Protect Your Rights After an Accident
Unfortunately, auto accidents occur every day and can result in devastating damages that range from mild to catastrophic. Overall, auto accidents cause serious repercussions, and it is important for victims to know that you can get legal help in order to obtain financial compensation for your losses. Damages can range from physical to monetary and we understand how much of a burden it can be for victims. Auto accidents result in pain and suffering, lost wages from missed days of work, medical expenses, and much more. It is important for victims to know that they are not alone during this difficult time.
If you are involved in an auto accident, there are certain things that you should know and do in order to protect yourself and your interests. In this article, we will explain the steps victims should take after if you have been involved in an accident.
- Remain at the Scene
Always remain at the scene of the accident, even if it is a minor one. By law, those who have been involved in an accident cannot leave the scene until the necessary information has been exchanged and other important steps have been done, which you will learn later in the article.
- Protect the Scene
In order to prevent other accidents from occurring, it is important that you protect the scene by turning your hazard lights on and setting up flares if you have any. If it is dark outside and your lights do not work, then it is important that you keep a flashlight in your vehicle to keep you safe while you wait in your vehicle or on the side of the road.
- Call the Police
Even if there aren’t serious injuries, it is still in your best interest to call the police. Police reports are extremely important, and it will help your case in terms of proving liability when you file a claim.If the police verbally mention they are on their way, wait for them to arrive before you exchange information with the at-fault driver to avoid making mistakes or admitting to fault.
- Make an Accurate Record
Once the police have arrived, retrieve the names of the police officers and badge numbers for reference when you file a claim. It is imperative that you give the officer an accurate record of what happened the best you can. However, if you are unsure of certain facts, then you need to make that clear to the officer rather than making something up. You should never speculate, guess, or fabricate anything that occurred in the accident. Similarly to obtaining the officer’s identification, write down the report number as well. Additionally, if you are injured or you’re unsure if you are, (since injuries can become apparent much later) then you should tell the officer that you are unsure, rather than stating nothing is wrong. A very common thing that happens after accidents is that victims do not feel pain and injuries immediately after an accident; however, they are felt hours or days later. You should also check with the officer to make sure that the other party’s statements are accurate as well.
- Take Pictures
It is important to take pictures of the damaged vehicles, injuries, and the accident scene. These photos will play important roles in evidence for the investigation of the accident. You can take pictures with your cell phone, or if you happen to have a camera handy, that will suffice too. Photographic evidence can include the license plate, position of cars, damages to the interior and exterior of your vehicle, visible injuries you sustained, and the surrounding scene.
- Exchange Information
It is imperative that you exchange information with the other party. This information includes the name, address, phone number, license plate number, license number, and insurance information of the other driver(s) involved in the accident. Additionally, if there are any witnesses at the scene of the accident, you should get their information as well so that you or your attorney can contact them in the future to help with the investigation. If there is an officer who responded to the scene, you should ask for their contact information so you are able to obtain the police report later down the line.
- Seek Medical Attention
You should seek medical attention soon after the accident. Many accident victims report feeling pain a day or two after the accident, which proves that injuries from an accident are not always immediately apparent. It is best that you seek medical attention to ensure your health, because there may be underlying injuries that can result in serious repercussions if they go untreated.
- Report the Accident
You should notify your insurance company soon after the accident; however, in order to protect your rights, you should hire a car wreck lawyer so he or she is able to handle your case from there. Your insurance company, along with the other insurance company will likely reach out to you; however, you can refer them to your lawyer who will handle every part of your case, along with dealing with the insurance companies. Keep in mind that anything you say to an insurance adjuster can be held against you. Therefore, it is best that you have your accident lawyer deal with them.