Some car accidents may only be minor inconveniences that involve little to no damage, amounting essentially to a disruption of a person’s plans for the day. Unfortunately, other crashes are extremely serious, resulting in life-altering injuries.
The reality is that a serious car accident can be exceedingly stressful, especially for those who are completely unprepared for what follows. To minimize stress and confusion, it is important to understand the appropriate steps to take after a crash.
Steps to Take Following a Collision
Taking the necessary measures following an accident can prove beneficial in a variety of ways. For instance, if you suffer serious injuries in the crash, what you do in the aftermath of the collision could prove crucial to your successfully obtaining all of the compensation you are entitled to. Some key steps to take after an accident include:
- Remain at the scene: Even in a minor accident, remaining at the scene is in your best interests. In fact, leaving the scene of an accident can result in criminal charges. If your vehicle can be operated, you can move it away from traffic as long as it is safe to do so.
- Notify emergency responders: Notifying police and medical professionals is another crucial step. Police will fill out an official report of the accident, and you can obtain a copy of the report for your own injury claim. Also, if you have suffered a serious injury, you should get medical treatment as soon as possible from an emergency responder.
- Document circumstances: It can be difficult to concentrate in the aftermath of a collision but taking notes on the events leading up to the accident, as well as pictures of the aftermath, is a good idea. Documenting the circumstances can help bolster your injury and property damage claims.
- Exchange information: Exchanging contact and insurance information with other driver or drivers is another key step to take after a collision. You may also want to take this time to contact your insurance company and notify it of the accident, but only provide the insurance company with the essential facts of the crash. Do not say too much. Instead, contact a personal injury attorney.
- Get prompt medical treatment: Even if you think your injury isn’t serious, get a medical evaluation from a doctor. Many injuries don’t present themselves until days or weeks after an accident, and a doctor can assess whether you have suffered whiplash, a head injury or another type of internal injury that isn’t obvious at first glance. Also, getting prompt medical treatment starts the documentation of your injury for the purposes of filing a claim.
Also, be careful about what say after the accident, as any form of apology, even with good intentions, could be viewed as a sign of fault for the crash. Talk to a personal injury attorneybefore speaking about the accident with anyone else, including the insurance adjuster.
Get the full and fair compensation you need.
Insurance companies are known for offering “low-ball” settlements to injury victims. That means you could be entitled to far more compensation than what the insurer initially offers. To ensure that you get the compensation you need and deserve, contact a lawyer with experience in handling personal injury cases.