If you have been in a car accident, you may be injured and likely experience a whirlwind of emotions. If you are not severely hurt and able to handle everything that you should at the scene, here is what you should do immediately after a car accident:
- Contact local law enforcement.
- Document the scene of the accident with photo and video evidence.
- Talk to the other driver(s) and provide each other with insurance information, and exchange contact information with drivers and potential witnesses.
- Go to a doctor for treatment.
Steps to Take After an Accident
It is easy to feel overwhelmed after a car accident, but immediately following the incident, there are essential steps you should take to help you receive compensation from an insurance company.
Call the Police
The police play an important role in car accidents as they can sometimes determine who is at fault at the scene. They also write a crash report that has important details you can use if you decide to take legal action. A lawyer can obtain this document to use the information in it for your benefit. You should request the police report number from the responding officer.
Take Pictures and Videos
Pictures and videos are crucial evidence in motor vehicle accidents If there are no cameras present that recorded the accident, photographs help, as they display damage, which can help determine fault. It is important to document license plates, impacted parts of the vehicle, and where the cars are positioned on the road. Having photographic evidence can make a significant difference in your case.
Get Medical Treatment
No matter how you feel physically or what kind of accident it was, seeking medical attention is imperative after a car accident. Emergency personnel will check your vital signs and ask you questions about how you are feeling to get an idea of your current state. Even if you feel well immediately after the accident, this does not mean you are not injured. Some injuries can take time to manifest.
If you are in pain or feel unusual, you should go to the emergency room. Make sure you acquire a copy of the documentation of your injuries as this is necessary information for an insurance adjuster. You should stay on top of your treatment, costs, and how your injuries from the accident affect your daily life. This helps determine the value of your claim.
Exchange Information with Other Drivers and Eyewitnesses
While you do not want to speak at length about the accident to avoid admitting liability, you should exchange names, phone numbers, and insurance information with other motorists. This information includes the insurance company, policyholder, and policy number. In addition, a description of their car and vehicle identification number are important, too.
If there were bystanders, speak with them and find out what they saw. Then, ask if they will provide their contact information to speak on what they have witnessed and defend you by stating how the other driver was at fault for the accident.
Dealing with Insurance Companies
Filing your claim with insurance companies is a critical part of what you should do immediately after a car accident. If you live in a no-fault state, you would file a claim with your insurance company, although you may be able to claim compensation from the negligent driver’s insurance company in certain scenarios. Otherwise, you file a claim with the other driver’s insurance company.
You do not have to endure difficult phone calls with an uncooperative insurance adjuster. A car accident lawyer can handle this and negotiate with the adjuster.
If the adjuster refuses to offer the settlement you deserve, a lawyer can take your case to trial and fight for the financial award you are entitled to. If you initially speak with insurance companies on your own, do not give a recorded statement. Insurance companies can twist people’s words and make it seem like a victim is at fault.
Consult with a Car Accident Lawyer From Shaw Legal Solutions
A car accident can lead to stress and anxiety, and you may not know what is in your best interest during a trying time. It may benefit you to seek the guidance of a car accident lawyer who can offer advice and take on your case. Shaw Legal Solutions, will fight for the best possible outcome for you.
We can help recover economic and noneconomic damages. This includes medical expenses and pain and suffering, which is compensation for your physical and emotional distress.
You must only worry about healing from your accident while a car accident lawyer tackles your case and represents you. Remember, you have only a limited time to pursue a personal injury lawsuit. Many states set a deadline on how long you have to seek financial compensation for your injuries.
Call (425) 214-4946 today for a free consultation with a member of our team.