Even the simplest car accidents like fender-benders can leave all parties involved in confusion after the accident happened. It is important to keep calm and focused and do the following steps right after a car accident.
Call the Ambulance and the Local Police
There are a couple of things you can do once you are involved in a car accident.
- First, always call an ambulance if anyone involved is injured.
- If possible, try to move your vehicle to the side of the road to prevent further accidents.
Call 911 or the local authorities immediately, especially if:
- There’s significant property damage.
- There are several heavily injured in the crash.
- Someone died.
You also have to remember that you must never leave the scene of the accident unless you are seriously injured and need immediate medical attention. This is what authorities would like to call as a “hit-and-run” scenario, where a car that caused the accident doesn’t stop and just drives straight away as if nothing happened. Leaving the scene can result in felony charges and often leads to hefty fines, depending on your state jurisdictions.
Gather Information and Evidence
If you can, retrieve information from everyone involved in the accident, including witnesses, and collect any evidence you can find. Remember though that the steps mentioned below don’t necessarily come in order. Some of them might vary depending on the circumstances of the car accident you are involved. For example, if everyone involved in the crash were severely injured and needs immediate medical attention, collecting information and evidence will have to be done later on.
You should know what kind of evidence or information you need to collect after the accident happened. You should collect valuable information like:
- Names of the persons involved in the crash.
- Any contact information as well as insurance information.
- License plate numbers, vehicle’s registration number, the driver’s license number, and vehicle’s make, model, year, and color
- Get statements from any witnesses around the area. Try to collect the names of the witnesses and contact information, as well.
- Take pictures of vehicle damage and physical injuries.
Keep in mind though that you need to collect all of this information as quickly as you can. For example, injuries can heal over time and taking pictures of them right after the accident instead of taking them a week later can help in showing the severity of the injury.
Get the Compensation that You Rightfully Deserve
If you are injured in a car accident, and you are still not getting the compensation you feel you deserve, you may consult with a car accident attorney. Gather the medical records from the medical professional who looked after your injuries resulting from the accident and present it to your lawyer. Your lawyer will then let you know what kind of legal actions you should take from there.
Consulting with a Car Accident Attorney or a Personal Injury Lawyer
What makes car accidents even worse are the legal procedures that usually follow. The legal proceedings after a car accident are stressful, and it can be way worse especially if you don’t have legal counsel on your side.
It is essential that you have an experienced auto accident attorney or a personal injury lawyer at troubled times like these because they can help you:
- Manage all the legal proceedings and prepare all the paperwork. Having legal counsel will save you from all the hassles of the legal aspect of a car accident.
- Work alongside a team of investigators. Your attorney along with the help of a team of investigators will also handle the technical aspects of your case. They will try to look for more evidence that can help you with your case.
- They can help you see things more objectively. People who were just involved in a car accident usually have cloudy judgments and often don’t know what to do next. But with the help of an attorney, they can help you think more clearly and set you on the right path.
- Talk to the insurance company’s attorneys. Your car accident attorney should be able to talk with your insurance company’s attorneys on your behalf. Also, insurance company attorneys will not take advantage of you because you have an attorney who understands these procedures on your side.
- Get the best amount of settlement. Your attorney will not allow you to accept a meager compensation, they will help you to receive the best possible compensation you deserve.
- Prepare you for court. Your car accident attorney will be your legal representative on the court and will use the best legal strategy to help you with your case.
If you are involved in a car accident, you should get in touch with a car accident attorney or a personal injury lawyer in your area to know your rights.
Disclaimer: This article contains only general information and should not be taken as legal advice. You should talk to someone with legal experience on these matters to know what kind of legal actions you should take if involved in a car accident.
Randolph Ferguson is a promising young law enthusiast working for the Law Offices of George Salinas. His pieces offer a youthful perspective on common law topics. Randolph is your go-to guy when it comes to sports, and he is often seen jogging when he has free time.