There are many reasons why you may have found yourself involved in a car accident. Maybe it was down to the traffic being bad at the time, or perhaps you were involved in an accident with a careless or distracted driver. Whatever the reason, what you do next can make all the difference in the upcoming weeks or months. If you or your loved one have been involved in a traffic collision, here are five tips on what to do next.
Make a Police Report
When you have been in a car accident, it’s important to stay at the scene, call the police and wait for them to arrive and take a statement from you. This is not only the law in most states – unless the police ask you to leave the scene over the phone after describing the accident to them – but it will also ensure that all the information from the accident is documented while it is still fresh, allowing you to record more accurate details.
Gather as Much Information as You Can
While at the scene of the accident, try to gather as much information as you can. Speak to any witnesses who may be able to corroborate what you are saying about a driver being careless or distracted causing the accident, or document the traffic at the time, if bad traffic has led to the accident. Be sure to get the names and telephone numbers of any witnesses, other drivers involved in the accident, and any passengers in either vehicle.
Be sure to get as many clear photographs of the scene as you can. Focus on taking photos of any damage to the vehicle, and signs around the area that show the location of the collision. Take pictures of any skid marks, damage to property such as the road, signs or trees, and take any photographs of injuries sustained by yourself or a passenger as a result of the accident.
Seek Medical Treatment
Even if you’re lucky enough to have come out of the accident with just a couple of scrapes, you should always seek medical treatment. Often, you may feel no pain immediately after being involved in a collision, but this does not mean that nothing is wrong; you may feel in pain a few days later. So, it’s always important to go to the ER, a clinic, or your doctor as soon as possible to get checked over.
Seek Legal Assistance
If the accident was not your fault, you may be entitled to compensation – in which case you can get help from a car accident lawyer. A good lawyer will be able to advise you on the best next steps to take and work with you to ensure that you are awarded the compensation that you deserve. You may find it useful to keep a journal or diary throughout the legal process which can be used as evidence if your case goes to court.
If you’ve been involved in a car accident, take these five steps afterwards to ensure that yourself, your health, and your finances are protected.