Car accidents are not usually a popular topic of conversation or even thought, yet they happen every day all over the country. The shock of an accident can be severe, and it can be extremely difficult to know just what to do after you’ve been injured.
However, as any first responder will tell you, even minimal preparations can make a huge difference in an emergency situation. Let’s go over a simple, 10-step plan that can help you minimize risk and put yourself in a good position in terms of a potential injury claim.
The 10 Step Post-Crash Process
- Remain Calm and Don’t Flee
There are a lot of mistakes an accident victim can make, but fleeing the scene is probably the worst. Not only is it likely unsafe to move around immediately, but it is also a very bad look when authorities arrive. By staying at the scene, you ensure that you will be present for any reports or investigations, which will be very important for your future case. It also ensures that you will receive the proper medical care.
- Safety Measures
After you’ve addressed your own immediate concerns, you should survey the scene and look for ways to help any other drivers present. This can include turning on hazard lights and moving your car out of harm’s way if possible, setting up flares or reflective markers, and contacting the authorities. If you are able to assist other drivers that need help, do so.
- Make Sure That You Contact the Police
As mentioned above, you will want to contact the police no matter how minor the accident may seem. Their accident reports are extremely valuable for both insurance claims and personal injury suits. It may sound tongue in cheek, but their authoritative presence can be very useful in terms of ensuring cooperation between all parties, and they can also conduct on-site sobriety tests.
- Be as Truthful and Transparent as Possible
An inaccurate or exaggerated statement can cause more harm than good, and the legal process has a knack for unearthing the truth. Whenever police or other authorities ask you a question, answer it as truthfully as possible and don’t be lured into lying with the hopes of making your prospects look better. Only say what you know for sure and don’t speculate. If you don’t know the answer to a question, say so clearly.
- Take Pictures of Everything
You definitely shouldn’t use your phone while driving, but after a crash happens, you should take as many pictures of the crash scene as you can. Document all the damages to all the vehicles involved, any road signs or location indicators, all physical injuries, and damage to your belongings, and anything else that seems pertinent to the crash. These pictures can be crucial forms of evidence.
- Collect Information
If police do arrive, they will take over the investigative process and collect everyone’s statements and information. However, if they aren’t on scene, you should take the initiative and exchange insurance and contact information from the other driver or drivers. Additionally, if there are any witnesses, it’s worth asking them for their contact details as well for a possible statement down the line.
- Review Your Own Insurance Information
Policies vary widely, so it is a good idea to brush up on the details of your own. For example, companies have different policies when it comes to how soon you have to file an accident after it happens. In addition, some policies have Medpay coverage, meaning that it covers medical treatment for those inside your vehicle.
- Get Medical Help
Always receive medical attention after an accident, no matter how you feel at that moment. There are two main reasons for this: 1) it helps your future case tremendously because the opposing insurer can’t downplay your injuries if you sought treatment, and 2) you likely have a lot of adrenaline flowing after a crash, which can mask injuries. A thorough examination almost always reveals more damage than previously thought. Medical reports and records are also valuable to your case.
- Start Tracking Expenses
The whole purpose of filing a suit is to recover compensation, so it’s best to start tallying your costs as soon as possible to ensure that you are in fact compensated correctly. In general, always keep the receipts–medical bills, vehicle repairs, and lost wages from time off from work are all good things to start tracking early on.
- Qualified Legal Representation
That leads us to the last and most important step, and that is to retain an experienced attorney. Any other mistakes you make along the way can usually be rectified with their help, but everything you do right will likely be for naught without one. They will preserve and obtain all the necessary evidence, negotiate with insurers, stay within court compliance, and argue on your behalf. In addition, they are licensed to practice in your jurisdiction, and their knowledge of local law will help tremendously.
Contact Award-Winning Personal Injury Attorneys Today
If you’ve been injured in an auto accident that was caused by another and would like to move forward with legal action, contact Van Law Firm right away. Our elite car accident and personal injury attorneys can do everything necessary to recover the compensation you rightfully deserve. With over 500 5-star reviews, you won’t want to go anywhere else. Call our office nearest you now for more information and a free consultation.