A car accident is a frightening and stressful experience, especially if someone suffers an injury. Although the shock of being involved in a crash can be quite overwhelming, there are important steps you need to take to ensure you don’t pay for any medical bills and property damage out of your own wallet.
The following are seven steps to take after a car accident:
- Maintain composure. Stay calm and take deep breaths, then assess the situation and check yourself – as well as your passengers – for any serious injuries.
- If necessary, seek immediate medical attention. Call an ambulance immediately if serious injuries occur.
- Contact law enforcement. If you are too hurt to document the accident yourself, you can obtain a police report that could be used as evidence to support your claim.
- Report the accident to your insurance company. Keep in mind, do not apologize or admit fault. Any admission of wrongdoing can be used against you, resulting in a reduced amount of compensation or your entire claim being completely denied.
- Obtain the other driver’s contact information. Get their name, phone number, e-mail address, insurance policy number, and license plate number. If there are any witnesses, ask if they are willing to cooperate with your claim and get their contact info as well.
- Document the scene. Using your cellphone camera, or digital camera, and start taking pictures of the scene. Make sure you get the exterior and interior of the vehicles involved, the injuries, traffic lights and street signs, and the weather and road conditions. Do not be afraid to use up all of your memory.
- Contact your lawyer. A car accident attorney can help you start building your case, especially if the driver doesn’t have car insurance or is being uncooperative. A lawyer can investigate the accident, collect evidence, and talk to witnesses while you recover from your injuries.