Auto accidents can be terrifying and may happen unexpectedly. In just a flash, you`ll find yourself surrounded by smoke and broken glass or with injuries. For this reason, it`s hard to focus on what steps you must take next. However, no matter how serious the accident is, you need to be calm and level-headed as much as possible. Below are the steps you should take after experiencing an auto accident:
1.Check Your Injuries
Before you call a reliable car crash attorney, you should first evaluate your injuries. Were you hurt that you need immediate medical attention?
If you`re okay, check for the other drivers in the crash to know if they`re safe. However, never get into conversations with them about the accident. In some cases, you might not feel pain from the injuries until a few days after the crash. It`s because your adrenaline is typically working overtime after the accident. This could also prevent you from realizing you`ve been injured or are in pain until you`ve calmed down. This might be days or hours later.
2. Go To A Safe Place
While assessing your injuries, it`s normal to feel shaky and disoriented. Try to focus and take a deep breath. After that, turn the hazard lights on and pull your car into a safe place. If there`s a leaking gas, leave your car immediately. If you think that it`s not safe to drive your vehicle, just leave it where it was. If you`re not sure what you should do, wait until the authorities arrive.
3. Call The Emergency Hotline
Whether an accident is considered a major or minor collision, it`s crucial to call the police and in almost every state, it`s required. The responding officers would have to fill out the accident reports and would document the crash scene.
If the police are nowhere to be found, you may just visit the nearest police station and file the report yourself depending on your injuries. Once you file a claim from your insurance company, a police report is necessary for the process.
4. Inform Your Insurance Provider
Tell your insurance provider that you`ve been involved in an auto accident. Tell them everything you`ve sustained, like the extent of the damages, and cooperate with them.
If your insurance provider finds out that you`ve lied to them, you may get in trouble by having the policy coverage for your expenses denied. Before you communicate with your insurance provider, review the police report filed to point out who`s at fault.
5. Exchange Information
After ensuring that you and any passengers are not injured, exchange insurance and contact information with the other drivers in the crash site. You should ask for their full name, insurance provider and policy number, plate number, and driver`s license. Moreover, document the accident`s location. Such information may help your insurance adjuster in reviewing your claim and determine who`s negligent based on the information provided and inspection of the vehicle damages.
6. Take Photos
Take photos of the damages to your vehicle after the crash. Photos may help insurance adjusters determine how much you must be compensated for. Having photos of the damages to your vehicle may also come in handy in court. In addition to that, the pictures of your vehicle before the accident may provide a good contrast and comparison to show the real extent of the damages sustained in the accident.
7. Don`t Forget To Keep Track Of Your Medical Treatments
Having a detailed account of the medications and treatments you receive is essential. Note any physical therapists, doctors, chiropractors or other medical professionals you get treatments from, and each medical provider who has referred you to caregivers.
Moreover, you may also prove your medical expenses by requesting copies of your medical bills and reports.
Your medical expenses can be documented easily. However, the suffering and pain you’ve experienced after the crash can be a bit challenging to prove. Therefore, it`s important to keep records of how your car-related injuries have affected your overall life. Include a list of any possible routine activities you can`t do because of the injuries. You should also list the workdays you`ve missed and describe how these injuries have affected your quality of life.
8. Call Your Lawyer
After you`ve received medical care for your injuries, see to it that you keep a record of your clinic or doctor visits. You should also keep a record of the treatments and medications you receive.
Then, it`s time to call your lawyer and tell them about the accident, medical treatments you`ve received, and other important information so they can assess your case better. Choosing a law office that`s experienced in cases related to auto accidents will help you get the compensation you`re entitled to.
If you`ve been involved in an auto accident, keeping the above steps in mind can help you get a fair settlement or compensation from the damages you`ve incurred, especially if it`s caused by somebody else`s negligence. Just make sure to hire a lawyer who specializes in personal injury cases as they will guide you throughout the process until everything is settled.