Car accidents occur every single day, but when it happens to you, it can seem overwhelming. It may be difficult to figure out what steps to take in the immediate aftermath of an accident, especially if you’ve been injured. Listed below are a few tips to help you out — but keep in mind that it may be in your best interest to contact a personal injury lawyer trusts for counsel.
- If necessary, seek immediate medical assistance.
One of the most important steps is to ensure that you, and anyone else involved, are safe. Some people refuse medical attention at the scene of the accident because they do not have any visible injuries, but this may not be such a good idea. You could have injuries that are less apparent; sometimes, immediately following a traumatic event, symptoms of an injury are masked by adrenaline.
- Contact the police as soon as you can (or have another person call 911 for you).
This is an essential step after an accident — even a minor fender bender. Contacting the police and having an officer at the scene of the accident will create evidence of what occurred. Police reports may be immensely beneficial if there are any questions about liability.
- Collect evidence of the accident, such as photos or videos, and write down every detail you remember as soon as you’re able.
A police report may be a valuable piece of evidence, but you should also work to maintain your own details. Taking pictures of the scene can help if you need to argue your case. It’s normal to lose memories of specific details as time goes on, so it may be beneficial to write down as much information as you can.
- Report the accident to your insurance company.
You may also need to file a report with your insurance company after an accident. Depending on the laws in your state, you might receive financial compensation through your own insurance policy or through the other driver’s insurance policy (if he/she was responsible for causing the accident). It’s important to exchange your insurance information and contact information with other individuals involved in the accident (if you’re physically able to do so).
- Start tracking your expenses.
You might need to seek immediate medical care and take time off from work — both of which could cost you a lot of money. Many personal injury claims result from the necessity to recover financial losses. Keep track of expenses that are connected to your accident and/or your injury; doctor’s bills and pay stubs, for example, can provide a great deal of information about your losses.
- Contact an attorney if you need legal counsel.
If you believe you may need counsel during an injury claim, or if you experience any problems during the claims process, it may be in your best interest to contact an attorney. Many law firms offer free consultations to look over the details of your case, and some lawyers will also work for clients on a contingency basis.
If you need legal assistance following a car accident, don’t hesitate to contact a trusted local attorney who may help you get the financial compensation you deserve.