A car accident, especially a serious car accident that results in bodily injury and property damage, can be a shocking experience to live through.
And while there are few things that can provide comfort and solace in the immediate aftermath of a crash, it is important to know what steps to take after a car accident.
This can help improve your chances of recovering a fair settlement and, at the very least, mitigate stress.
If you’ve been in a car accident, refer to the following steps to take after a crash–
Report the Car Accident to the Police
Reporting the car accident to the police is a must after a car accident; in fact, if you don’t report the accident, you will have a very difficult time filing an insurance claim (the police report serves as one source of proof that the accident occurred).
What’s more, most states have laws in place that require drivers to report car accidents, especially in the case of property damage or bodily injury. Our lawyers advise calling the police while you are still at the scene of the accident rather than waiting to report the crash later on.
Get Medical Care
If you have been seriously injured, you will likely seek medical care immediately. In fact, an ambulance may even arrive at the scene of the accident to transport you to the hospital for care. If this is the case, keep detailed medical records and follow your doctor’s instructions for recovery.
Those who do not suffer obvious and serious acute injuries often make the mistake of not seeking medical care, assuming that they are fine. If you have been in a crash, you should go to the emergency room or see your family doctor within 24 hours; some injuries, such as traumatic brain injuries, do not present themselves immediately.
If you do not seek medical care and then later realize you have suffered an injury, the insurance adjuster may question its validity as there is no documentation connecting your crash to the supposed injury.
Collecting evidence after a crash can be difficult to do, especially if you are incapacitated as a result of a serious injury. If you are able to, though, we advise:
- Getting the other driver’s information;
- Collecting contact information from any witnesses;
- Taking photos of the accident and the accident scene; and
- Documenting or collecting any other type of evidence that can be used to establish fault or damages.
Notify Your Insurance Company
If you have car insurance and plan to file an insurance claim, you must notify your insurance company of the accident, preferably within 24-48 hours of its occurrence. If you wait too long to notify your insurance company, your claim could be denied. Taking action sooner rather than later is recommended.
Call a Car Accident Lawyer Near You
Finally, we recommend reaching out to an experienced car accident lawyer near you for a free consultation about your case.
An attorney’s opinion can help you to make a decision about the best course of action for recouping damages, give you an idea of how much your case may be worth, and help you to decide whether you need a lawyer working on your case. Schedule your free consultation as soon as possible after a crash.