What To Do After A Car Accident
If you’ve been in a car accident, there are a few key steps you should take to ensure your safety and protect your legal rights. The King Law Firm has compiled a list of these steps so that you can be prepared if you ever find yourself in this situation.
Take a Moment To Collect Yourself
The first thing you should do after a car accident is to take a moment to collect yourself. This can be a difficult and confusing time, so it’s important to remain calm and assess the situation. In the seconds after a crash, the shock and panic of the accident can cause people to ignore their injuries and ultimately make them worse. Insurance companies will use this decision as “evidence” of why they should pay you less than what you deserve by claiming your injuries are not as bad as they are.
Once you have a clear understanding of what has happened, you can begin taking the appropriate steps.
Check for Injuries
The next step is to check for injuries. If you or anyone else involved in the accident is injured, it’s important to seek medical attention as soon as possible. Even if the injuries seem minor, it’s always best to err on the side of caution and get them checked out by a professional.
You may not notice soft tissue injuries because they take a while to show, and your adrenaline may be masking serious injuries. Take time to scan your body, and don’t ignore anything. Your health is your top priority.
If there are any injuries or if the accident has caused significant damage to either vehicle, it’s important to call 911. The police will be able to assess the situation and make sure that everyone is safe. They will also create a formal report of the accident, which can be used as evidence in any legal proceedings that may arise.
Many at-fault drivers will try to convince others at the scene not to call 911 and work directly with them instead. This is typically not advised for a number of reasons, the most important being that you will have no documentation of the accident. The other driver may also try to get your personal information, such as your insurance information, and use it to file a false claim against you.
Exchange Information With The Other Driver
If the accident was a minor one and there were no injuries or major damage, the next step is to exchange information with the other driver. This should include your name, contact information, insurance company, and policy number. You should also get the same information from the other driver. If possible, take pictures of the damage to the vehicles and the surrounding area, including any skid marks on the road.
Gathering evidence includes taking pictures of the accident scene, getting contact information from any witnesses, and obtaining a copy of the police report. This evidence will be crucial if you decide to file a claim with your insurance company or take legal action against the other driver.
Get Medical Attention
Even if you don’t think you’re injured, it’s important to get checked out by the EMTs as soon as possible after the accident. Some injuries, such as whiplash, may not present themselves until days or weeks after the accident. By getting medical attention right away, you’ll be able to document your injuries and start on the road to recovery.
Follow Up With Your Doctor
After leaving the scene of the accident, if you do not need to take an ambulance to the emergency room, it is still important that you follow up with your doctor. Make an appointment as soon as possible to get a full evaluation. This will help ensure that any injuries are properly treated and will also create a paper trail in case you need to take legal action or file an insurance claim.
Hire an Attorney Before Filing an Insurance Claim
If you plan on taking legal action or filing an insurance claim, it’s important to hire an experienced car accident attorney. The insurance company will have their own team of lawyers working to minimize the amount they have to pay out, so you need someone on your side who knows how to protect your rights and get you the compensation you deserve.
Contact Your Insurance Company
Once you have all of the necessary information and are being represented by an experienced attorney, the next step is to contact your insurance company. You will likely have to file a claim, and your insurance company will begin the process of investigating and addressing the accident. Your attorney will be able to help you throughout this process and make sure that your rights are protected.
Take Legal Action
If the other driver was at fault for the accident, you might decide to take legal action against them. This is typically only advised if there are significant injuries or damages involved. Your attorney will be able to advise you on whether or not taking legal action is in your best interests.
The steps you take after a car accident can greatly impact the outcome of any legal proceedings that may arise. It’s important to stay calm and collect as much evidence as possible. You should also get medical attention right away, even if you don’t think you’re injured, and follow up with your doctor. If you plan on taking legal action or filing an insurance claim, you should hire an experienced car accident attorney. Your attorney will be able to help you throughout the entire process and make sure that your rights are protected.
The King Law Firm has a team of experienced car accident lawyers who can help you get the compensation you deserve. Contact our law office today for a free consultation and case evaluation.