A car accident is a traumatic event. Even a minor fender-bender can put people in shock and render them unable to know what to do. Although it’s impossible to fully prepare for a car accident, knowing some steps to take following a car accident can help you better deal with one should it happen.
Check for Damages
The first thing you should do is to always check for any damages. Start with yourself, passengers, and then any other parties. Regardless of the severity of injuries, you’ll always want to call 9-11 and have them dispatch both EMTs and the police. When the EMTs arrive, you’ll want to ensure everyone’s checked. Even if it appears like you or another party only has minor injuries, some injuries might be internal. It’s also smart to follow up with a doctor or go to the hospital following the incident.
Start Gathering Evidence
You’ll want to gather evidence as soon as you can. Doing so will help you file your police report, insurance claim, and–if necessary–your lawsuit. Some examples of evidence include:
- Photographs: Make sure you take as many pictures as possible. Take pictures of any injuries, damages to both your vehicle and the other party’s vehicle, and any nearby damages.
- Gather contact information: You’ll want to make sure you gather the contact information of the other person involved. This includes their name, license plate number, driver’s license, and insurance company information. You’ll also want their phone number or a way to contact them.
- Write your testimony: You’ll also want to write a personal testimony describing the events that occurred. If possible, try to gain testimonies from other parties present.
You’ll also want to make a copy of your medical report and police report.
File Your Claim
Once you have all the necessary information, you’ll want to next file a claim. The insurance company will either approve or deny your claim, usually within two weeks. However, the severity of the accident and injuries sustained may make the claim take longer. If they deny your claim or they offer an inadequate amount, you’ll want to contact a lawyer as soon as possible.
What Not to Do Following a Car Accident
Following a car accident, there are a few things you also shouldn’t do. Some examples include:
- Apologizing: In the case of a car accident, apologizing can be seen as an admission of guilt.
- Talking about the case: It’s best not to talk about the case. You can let your loved ones know that an accident happened, but it’s best to not go into great details about the case. Definitely, you’ll also not want to share details on social media.
- Don’t leave the scene: Under no circumstances should you ever leave the scene until the authorities have arrived and everything’s been cleared.
A car accident can be traumatic and while there’s no way to fully prepare for an accident, there are some steps you can undertake to make the process easier. Lastly, having a car accident lawyer on your side can make a huge difference. Our friends at Therman Law Offices, LTD can help.