Nobody plans on having an accident, but should you be involved in one, it’s smart to have a plan for what to do. Accidents are stressful and chaotic and they may involve injuries. That is why it is important to understand what steps you must take now, so you will be prepared and able to use your best judgment if you are involved in an accident.
Immediately after a car accident, try to stay calm, check for injuries, seek medical attention on the scene if needed and call the police.
The next steps are critical and need to be done right away to later build a personal injury case and recover damages. Even if you don’t anticipate you will need an attorney, it is in your best interest to be prepared.
Talk to witnesses and collect their contact information. Don’t expect the witnesses’ contact information to be available in a police report should you need their information later. The best opportunity for you to gather this information is right after the accident.
Take pictures of ALL vehicles involved, the crash scene, the road (for skid marks or the absence of skid marks) and your injuries.
Exchange information with all other parties involved in the accident.
Try to remain calm and polite throughout this process, but be careful not to apologize or take blame for the accident, because the insurance company can use it against you later.
You may want to take a moment to write down any information and details about the accident, that way you won’t forget any details later.
Also, be careful what you say to an insurance representative. After an accident, the insurance company may call you to ask for a statement or offer you a settlement. The insurance companies are hoping you will accept a smaller settlement than what you may deserve. Let them know that you want to consult with your personal injury lawyer before making any statements or decisions.
If an insurance company is offering you a settlement and you’re not sure if you should accept, ask us. We’d be happy to answer your questions. It’s free to call us for advice and there is no commitment necessary.