After a car accident, you may feel overwhelmed and wonder what to do next. Taking the right steps immediately after an accident can be critical, laying the groundwork for your insurance claim and protecting your access to the support you need.
Contact the authorities.
Calling law enforcement to the accident scene allows them to document the crash and create a formal report. The police record of the collision may be vital for your insurance claim. It also lays the groundwork for future legal action against the driver responsible.
Collect important information.
While the officer at the scene will record important information for their report, it is also essential to collect information for your reference. This information can include:
- The other driver’s name and contact information
- The make, license number and model of their car
- Their insurance provider and policy information
- The name and contact information of any witnesses to the crash
- The name, badge number and contact information for the officers at the scene
Document the scene of the accident.
As much as possible, create your own record of the scene of the crash. Take pictures of the damage to the vehicles involved in the accident and the surrounding area. Write down as many details about the wreck as you are able. Initial impressions and details are easily forgotten over time. Your documentation and the help of an attorney can preserve this evidence for your insurance claim and, if necessary, for future legal action.
Seek medical attention.
It is crucial to seek immediate medical attention, even if you do not believe that your injuries are severe. Many times people don’t initially realize the extent of their injuries due to the adrenalin from the accident, however, the injuries can become more painful a day or two after the accident. An examination by a doctor as soon as possible protects your health, creates a record of your injuries and preserves your ability to make an insurance claim if your injuries are more severe than initially believed. You should make sure to advise the doctor of any pain you are experiencing or injury you have. A good way to do this is by focusing on the different parts of your body starting with your head and working your way down to your feet. You should also keep a daily journal relating to your injuries. The journal should provide details as to the pain you experienced from the injuries and how they have impacted your daily life following the accident. This may include daily activities you were not able to do because of your injuries, as well as activities which were difficult because of the injuries sustained in the accident.
Contact an attorney.
You will face various challenges after a crash, but working with an attorney could help you navigate these difficulties. A lawyer can offer insight into your legal options, and put you on a level playing field with the insurance company. They can also negotiate with the insurance company to ensure that you receive fair compensation and help you hold negligent drivers responsible. This can ensure that you receive the support you need in the aftermath of a crash and help you focus on healing.