Steps to Take After an Auto Accident
Car accidents happen out of the blue and are often overwhelming and traumatic, especially when injuries are sustained. Many are often so shaken by the event itself that they often do not take the necessary steps in the aftermath, leading to further distress and headaches as they attempt to recover compensation for their losses and suffering. If you get involved in a traffic collision, it is crucial to remain calm. Here are some helpful tips to keep in mind for the future:
- Keep an Emergency Kit in Your Vehicle: Most of us have a cell phone nowadays, so always be sure to keep this with you. You should also carry a pen and paper for note-taking, a list of contact numbers for law enforcement, and a card with information about medical allergies or conditions that require special care or attention. Your emergency kit should also contain
- Safety First: If the accident is relatively minor and no one is seriously injured, all drivers involved should move their cars to the side of the road and out of the way of oncoming traffic. If cars are left in the middle of the road or at a busy intersection, this can result in additional accidents and injuries. If a vehicle cannot be moved, all drivers and passengers should remain in their vehicles with their seatbelts fastened until help arrives. All drivers should turn on their vehicle’s hazard lights.
- Exchange All Pertinent Information: After an accident, it is crucial to exchange all pertinent information with those involved. This includes: names, addresses, phone numbers, insurance policies, policy numbers, driver license numbers, and license plate numbers for the driver of each vehicle. If a driver’s name is different from the name of the insured, be sure to establish what the relationship is. Other information you should document includes the make, model, year, and color of each vehicle and the exact location of where the collision occurred and how it happened. Lastly, and most importantly, while you should always be polite, you should never tell the other drivers or the police that the accident was your fault, even if you think it was.
- Photograph the Scene of the Accident: Most cell phones have camera capabilities, so use this to your advantage and photograph the scene to document the details as best as you can. The photographs you take will be used to show the overall context of the accident to help back up your claims to the insurance adjuster, so take as many as possible. You can always delete duplicates or photos that are not particularly helpful after you review them all. If witnesses were present at the scene, you should obtain their contact information as well.
- File an Accident Report: When law enforcement officers arrive at the scene, make sure they file an accident report. Having a police report helps insurance companies speed up the claims process and will serve as one more crucial piece of evidence to help build your case.
- Understand What Your Insurance Covers: Knowing the details of your coverage is a crucial part of ensuring this process runs smoothly. Do not wait until after an accident to learn that your policy will not cover the cost of towing or a replacement car. Check your policy to learn exactly what is covered.
- Seek Medical Attention: Even if you feel fine or your injuries appear to be minor, it is imperative that you seek medical attention as soon as possible. Some injuries do not produce symptoms until days, weeks, or even months later. If you choose not to seek medical care and later discover that your injuries are much more severe than you originally believed them to be, you might have a difficult time receiving compensation for them since you postponed treatment. Err on the side of caution and have a medical professional properly examine you.
Clinton Personal Injury Attorneys
A car accident can change your life in a second. The aftermath can be confusing and scary, particularly if the medical bills for your injuries are mounting and you are unable to return to work. You should not have to bear the burden of paying for someone else’s mistakes. At Cantrell, Goodge & Associates, our Clinton car accident attorneys are prepared to help if you or a loved one was injured in a car wreck. Our legal team stands up to insurance companies and works hard to get full value for the injuries and hardships of those we serve.
Backed by over 20 years of experience, you can rest assured your case will be in the right hands with us. We handle a wide range of accidents, including drunk driver accidents, truck accidents, hit-and-runs, and more.
Contact us today at (865) 999-0101 to schedule your free consultation.