What to Do Immediately After a Car Crash: 8 Key Steps

What to Do Immediately After a Car Crash: 8 Key Steps

Being involved in a car accident is something you probably don’t expect to happen anytime in your life. However, the truth is quite different, as these accidents are way too common for many reasons, ranging from distracted driving, poor road conditions, driving under the influence, or simply carelessness. So, you should know what to do if you ever go through this, and here are some of the most important steps to take to protect your rights and fight for the best possible outcome.

Check for injuries

Getting medical attention for yourself and anyone else involved is the first logical step after an accident. If someone seems to have hurt their back, do not move them. Doing so can make the injury worse, so call 911 as they can better handle this issue. Also, do not leave the scene of an accident. You must stop in case of a crash, no matter how minor it may seem. Check yourself and other passengers for any injuries and move your vehicle to the safe side if you can do so.

Contact a lawyer

Even though they pretend like they care for you and your rights, insurance companies aren’t always as honest as they promise to be. They are masters at convincing claims to take small settlements, confess responsibility, and make compromising remarks. This is where your personal injury attorney comes into play to protect your rights. They will manage negotiations with the claims adjuster on your behalf, ensuring that you do not say anything that might hurt your case. They can also help you collect the necessary evidence, arrange for expert witnesses to testify, determine your damages, and guarantee that you do not miss any important deadlines. Especially if you have been hurt in a stationary rear-end collision, it’s crucial to know your rights and the necessary measures to protect yourself. Having a skilled lawyer by your side can alleviate a great deal of worry and pressure off your shoulders so you can focus on some more important things, like getting your life back on the right track.

Call the police

Call the police so that they can take the necessary steps to clear the area of traffic and file an accident report. If you need to prove fault or damages, this report will make a huge difference. Do not provide any speculation or admission of guilt while speaking with the authorities after the accident. You should give only the most essential information so you don’t say anything that can hurt your case later on.

Create an accurate record

Provide the police with as many details as you can on the time, place, and manner of the accident. There are some things you should absolutely keep in mind while working with authorities, and some of them include:

  • Inform the police about anything you know, but be completely honest.
  • If you are confused and in a state of shock, tell the police that you would rather wait for your attorney before saying anything.
  • If they ask you about your injuries, tell them you are not sure, as some injuries can show later on, whereas if you say you are fine, you are risking the success of your claim.
  • The police will take photos of the accident and car damage, but if you can, you should do the same, as the more pieces of evidence you have by your side, the better. Accident reconstruction experts can use these photos to determine the cause of the crash. Take wide-angle photos of the crash, as well as close-ups of any injuries, skid marks, weather, road conditions, traffic signs, and property damage.

Exchange information

The authorities will usually collect crucial information from all parties involved in the accident. In such a case, you should also ask where you can get a duplicate of the accident report, as well as the names of police officers. Also, you should exchange information with the other drivers at the scene of the crash. Ask about their names, contact information, policy details and insurance providers, license plate numbers and driver’s license details, car makes, models, and colors, as well as the accident’s time and date.

Notify your insurance company

If you contact your insurance provider as soon as possible, they will be able to outline the precise information needed for submitting a claim. Also, they can inform you of the steps you should take to file your claim. The idea that you should only contact your insurance provider if you are at fault is not right. No matter who is to blame, insurance policies include many coverage options, and in such cases, you will need to contact them if you want to employ any of these options.

Don’t accept any first offers

After an accident, some drivers may want to move on without contacting their insurance company. As an incentive for a speedy settlement, they can even offer you cash on the spot. You should not accept this. It’s hard to tell how bad the damage is right now, whether it’s about car damage or your injuries that may not show up immediately. It may take a few days before you experience symptoms like whiplash or find out that some of your car parts need to be repaired. If you accept this first option, you can easily lose all of your legal protection.

Get medical evaluation

After you leave the scene of the accident, you should get a full medical evaluation. Tell the doctors and nurses that you were in a car crash and detail any injuries, pain, or other symptoms. Follow their advice about therapy, medications, and follow-up care. Document everything you spend money on, including doctor appointments, medications, and any other costs. If you decide to pursue a claim for your injuries in the future, this paperwork will be crucial to strengthening your case.

Victims of car crashes can make their chances of a successful claim higher if they follow these steps. Of course, this traumatic event is something you can never be fully prepared for, but taking these steps can make the whole process a bit easier.

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