A car accident can be both costly and life-altering. Between medical expenses and repair costs, the bills can pile up fast. It’s important to make sure you receive fair compensation in order to get your life back to normal as quickly as possible. To put yourself in the best position, there are actions you must take at the scene of the accident, as well as in the following days, to ensure your best chance at a positive outcome.
Steps to Take at the Scene
There are many advantages you can give yourself immediately following an accident. Of course, if you are badly injured, then that is the top priority, and everything else can wait. If you are able, however, following these simple steps can go a long way to protecting yourself.
Stop Your Car and Pull Over
The first thing you need to do following an accident is to stop your vehicle and pull over to the side of the road if you are able. Clearing out of the road will remove you from potential further damage from other vehicles approaching the scene.
Check for Injuries
After you have turned off your vehicle, do a quick self-check to assess whether or not you have been injured. Then check on any passengers in your vehicle. If everyone in your car is fine, exit your vehicle and carefully make your way to check on anyone else involved in the collision. In case anyone is in need of medical attention, dial 911 and follow the instructions of the operator.
File an Accident Report
If you called 911 because of an injury, the police are already on their way. Otherwise, give them a call so that they can come out to the scene, and you can file an accident report. While it might be that neither you nor the other driver really wants to get the police involved, in many cases, it is required by law to do so. Failing to report the accident can put you in a very vulnerable position.
The more information you can gather from the scene of the accident, the better. Exchange insurance information with any other drivers involved. Take down license plate numbers and details about the additional vehicles, including damage. Talk to any witnesses and collect contact information. Make a note of weather conditions and anything else at the scene that could have played a factor in the accident. Take pictures of everything.
Seek Medical Attention
Get checked out by paramedics at the scene. Even if you feel fine, that does not mean you have not suffered an injury. Many car accident injuries are not immediately detectable, especially when your adrenaline is running high. After you have been checked over by the paramedics, go to the hospital for a more thorough examination.
Failing to get an injury attended to as soon as possible can lead to medical, financial, and legal complications.
Steps to Take After Leaving the Scene
After leaving the scene, there are still things to do to protect yourself.
Contact Your Insurance
The next thing you need to do is contact your insurance company to inform them of the accident. Even if you are going to be filing a claim with another driver’s insurance, it is important to let your insurance know about the accident. You are not required to provide further details other than that the accident occurred.
Contact a Lawyer
One of the best things you can do to ensure that you get fair compensation for your car accident is to hire a lawyer. Contact the professionals at ASK LLP for a free consultation. A lawyer is essential to receiving fair compensation when another driver was at fault for the accident. Do not talk to another drivers’ insurance company. Your lawyer should handle all communication with insurance for you.
Insurance adjusters are trained in a wide assortment of tricks to try to get you to undervalue your claim. Speaking to an insurance adjuster won’t help you in any way and could result in irreparable damage to your claim. An experienced car accident lawyer knows all of the tricks, as well, and is capable of fending off the attack.
A competent lawyer will make a plan of action with you and then take over all of the legal work, checking in with you from time to time. You can feel confident that you are in good hands on the legal front and turn your attention to other matters, like recovering from any injuries you might have suffered.
Stay Off of Social Media
One of the favorite new tools for insurance investigators looking to deny a claim is social media. Even a post that you believe to be harmless can come back to bite you. Avoiding social media altogether is your best option following an accident. It is also advisable to ask friends and family to refrain from posting anything about you as well.
Following these steps should help you put your accident behind you and get your life back on track as quickly as possible.