The moments after even a minor car accident can be disorienting, stressful, and nerve-wracking. So it is easy to understand why anyone involved in a car accident would be confused about what steps they need to take in the aftermath.
Once your head clears and you have recovered enough to think clearly, there are some steps that you should take to keep you safe and to maximize the chances of getting the compensation that you deserve. One of those steps involves contacting an experienced personal injury lawyer and you can visit our website to find out how one can help you. Continue reading to learn what else you need to do if you ever get into a car accident.
Check For Injuries
Your safety, and the safety of anyone else involved in the accident, should be your immediate concern. Carefully check the range of motion in your limbs to see if any of them are broken or sprained. If you are disoriented, then stay where you are, attempting to do anything while you are still in a state of confusion could end up making the situation worse.
If you are uninjured and relatively clear-headed, then you should try and help anyone else involved in the accident if they need assistance. However, if someone appears to be seriously hurt, then you should not try to move them as doing so could make things worse.
Do Not Leave The Accident Scene
Even if the accident is a minor fender-bender where no one was injured and your car is still able to be driven, you should wait until law enforcement arrives. Leaving the scene of an accident is classified as a hit and run. It is a criminal offense and can leave you culpable even if the accident was not your fault to begin with. That means you could be charged with a misdemeanor or even a felony, which could result in fines and jail time. So always stick around until you are given express permission to leave by the law enforcement officers on the scene.
Call Emergency Services
After a car accident, you should contact the police as soon as you are able to. In addition to providing any help that is needed, the police officer will write an accident report. That report will come in handy when it is time for you to file an insurance claim.
Record the Scene
You should take pictures of the accident scene as soon as possible. This includes taking pictures of the damage sustained by the vehicles involved in the accident, the way the vehicles are positioned in relation to each other, and any property damage that may have taken place. A detailed record of the scene before the vehicles have been removed will be very useful when it is time to file your insurance claim. That is especially the case if your insurance company allows you to file a claim via e-mail or an app.
Do Not Admit Fault
You should avoid any detailed conversation with the other driver involved in the accident beyond expressing concern for their safety. Any detailed conversation should be with the police, emergency personnel, and representatives from the insurance company. No matter who you speak with, you should never admit that the accident was in any way your fault. Any such admission could come back to haunt you if attorneys get involved. That is because the lawyer of the driver could use it as an admission of guilt, which could reduce your chances of receiving compensation.
Call Your Insurance Company
After notifying the authorities, you should contact your insurance company and tell them about the full extent of the accident. Some policies require that you notify the company immediately in the event of an accident. But even if your insurance company does not have such a stipulation, you should still contact them as soon as possible so that they can get as much information about the accident as possible.
Consult a Personal Injury Lawyer
Even if you do not plan to pursue any legal action, it is a good idea to contact a personal injury lawyer just in case. They can help you to deal with the insurance company to negotiate a settlement on your behalf. Insurance companies will often try to pay the bare minimum but an experienced personal injury lawyer will fight to make sure that you get the compensation you need to take care of any medical bills or lost wages. And if the case ends up going to trial, then the lawyer will be ready to represent you.
Follow These Steps If You Are Ever In a Car Accident
After a car accident, your main concern should be for your safety and the safety of any passengers in your vehicle. Once that has been taken care of, you need to think about any injuries you sustained and the damage to your vehicle. That is why you should eventually consult a personal injury lawyer to help you file your claim. They will do their best to make sure that you get the compensation you deserve.