Crucial Steps to Take After a Car Accident
A car accident can be a very scary experience. It is important to take a deep breath, put your hazard lights on, and ensure your vehicle is not blocking traffic.
Check yourself and your passengers for injuries, but be cautious about moving anyone unless directed by medical personnel. Some injuries may not show up until later.
Call the Police
Involving the police ensures an official, impartial account of the accident. It also provides accountability if there are injuries or property damage involved.
Often, car accidents involve more than one vehicle and multiple people. The police officer will talk to all parties and witnesses, and the information will be documented. The at-fault driver may try to change the story later on, but a police report will contain objective facts that any party cannot manipulate. Visit https://kuzyklaw.com/ to get more insights about car accident lawsuits.
When the police arrive, only speak to them about the specifics of your crash and answer their questions as honestly as possible. Your statements could end up in the police report, and they can be used against you by the other driver or even in a lawsuit at some point.
Even if you’re feeling fine after the crash, visiting a doctor as soon as possible is important. This will help you document your injuries and ensure that all of your pain is properly treated, reducing the costs of future medical care.
Some negligent drivers may try to convince you that you don’t need to call the police or give them your information, as they want to avoid getting caught and held liable for your injuries. Never let this happen, and exchange contact information with all parties.
The most important information includes the other driver’s name, insurance company, policy number and car registration. In addition, take down the year, make and model of the vehicle to identify it further. Also, speak to any willing witnesses to the accident. Having their statements will help prove fault later on.
Taking pictures of the accident scene, damage to vehicles and other property and injuries on yourself will help you document what occurred. The evidence you collect will be very important if you file a claim for damages.
If you have a camera on your phone, use it to capture the evidence immediately after an accident. Getting this proof before the at-fault driver makes changes, witnesses leave, and the scene is cleared away is important.
Make sure you take a lot of wide shots from different angles to get all the detail you need. Focus on things like skid marks on the road, point of impact and vehicle damage. In addition, please take photos of your injuries and how they developed over time to demonstrate the extent of your physical pain and emotional trauma. The time and date stamp on these photographs will also be valuable evidence for your case. Many modern cameras automatically provide a date and time stamp on the photo.
Contact an Attorney
While the police are investigating the crash, it is a good idea to start collecting evidence. This can include photos and video of the accident scene from multiple angles, property damage, skid marks, and other relevant factors. You should also collect witness contact information.
Even if you feel fine, seeing a medical professional immediately is important. Emergency medical technicians can spot injuries you might not know of due to shock and adrenaline. Additionally, seeing a doctor will establish a record of your injuries immediately after the accident. This makes it harder for insurance companies to claim that your injuries did not occur in the wreck.
Insurance companies will use tactics to trick you into accepting their low offers for your car and injuries. Do not accept any settlements without first consulting with an attorney. Even if an insurance representative seems friendly, it is important always to refer questions and discussions to your attorney. Otherwise, innocent statements can be used against you later in the process.