The steps you should take following a car accident are often confusing. It’s not uncommon for you to feel overwhelmed and stressed following this type of event, but knowing what to do at the moment can help ease your fears significantly. The hope is that you are not involved in a car accident, but being prepared can help you navigate this confusing time with grace and knowledge. There are certain steps you must take following even the most minor car accident from calling the police to calling a car accident personal injury lawyer. Each step is significant, and each one is listed here for you to refer to if you are involved in a car accident.
The first step to take in any car accident is to call for emergency assistance. Never leave the scene of an accident, and never assume you can handle it on your own. Even if it’s minor and you exchange personal information with the other driver, you must call the law. The other driver might decide it’s better to deny any knowledge of the accident when you call their insurance to report it. Without that police report, they might be able to claim they did not cause the accident, and you will end up paying for the damage out of your own pocket, according to a car accident personal injury lawyer.
Move Your Car
If your car is in the middle of the road and the accident is minor, move the car to the side of the road per instructions on the road. Most roadways encourage drivers to move accident vehicles to the shoulder. If you cannot move your car, you should at least get out of the car to prevent any further damage. If another driver does not see your accident vehicle in the road and hits it a second time, you do not want to be in the vehicle when this happens.
Speak to No One
While it’s all right to assist the other people involved in the accident and ask if anyone who stops witnessed the accident, you must watch everything you say to the other driver. If you say anything such as, “I’m so sorry!” to them even though it was not your fault, the witnesses and other drivers can use that statement against you. It implies you were at least partially responsible for the accident, and that might mean you are responsible for the damages. This is some of the best advice car injury law firms offer accident victims.
As soon as you are able to get out of your vehicle, be sure you take photos of the vehicles involved. If you’re able to move the vehicles to the side of the road, be sure you snap photos from as many angles as possible before you move them. You want to be able to provide proof of the way the accident occurred, and these photos can prove invaluable if the other driver argues their own role in the accident.
If you suffered any injuries during the accident, it’s a wise idea to take photos of those as well. You want as much photographic proof as possible in case the other driver or their insurance company decide to argue their role in your accident. Car injury law firms often tell clients that these photos are some of the most helpful evidence.
Speak to the Police
The police will arrive after you call for help, and they will want a statement from anyone involved and from any witnesses. Your job is to provide the most detailed and accurate record of the accident as possible. Do not speculate, assume, or guess what might have happened. For example, unless you saw the other driver on their cell phone before they hit you, do not tell the officer on the scene that you just know the other driver was texting and driving. If you did not see it, do not say it.
Seek Medical Attention
Even if you were involved in a minor car accident and have no visible injuries, you must seek medical attention right away. Many injuries in minor accidents are not visible, and some of these injuries take a little more time to appear on their own. You want to seek medical attention right away to catch any issues you might have before they have time to get worse. For example, internal injuries might not be visible to you right away, but they only grow worse the longer they are left untreated. Your job is to ensure they are treated right away.
Furthermore, the other driver has a better chance of arguing that your accident injuries were caused by something that happened to you following your accident if you don’t have them diagnosed right away. The other driver and their insurance company want to get away with paying as little as possible, and this is one way they might try to do that.
Keep Detailed Records
Keep a file with the accident report, all of your medical bills, all of your medical records, and your accident photos. If you end up with more serious injuries or the other driver wants to fight this, you have evidence in a file at a moment’s notice. This file should contain anything and everything that pertains to your accident, and you should keep it until the statute of limitations ends following an accident. You might decide to file a personal injury lawsuit months after the accident, and you’ll want this information.
Consult An Attorney
An auto injury lawyer can help you make sure your rights are being met and honored. You may have more questions than answers. You may not be sure why the other driver’s insurance company wants you to sign certain forms, and your attorney can tell you that some of those forms are not required by law. Signing them can be detrimental to your case, and an auto injury lawyer can help you determine how that works and what that means.
An attorney can help you answer questions, and they can also handle the small details of your case. You are not required to file a personal injury lawsuit if you hire an attorney, but you should take advantage of the legal expertise an auto accident attorney provides. It’s an invaluable help when you should be focusing on healing.
This content is sponsored by Mark Valley.