No one expects to be in a car accident and many are left dazed and confused about what actions to take after they’ve been in an accident. What most victims don’t realize is that there are certain actions that they can take in order to preserve their legal right to recover for their losses at a later date. However, there are also some actions that should be avoid since they may hinder the victim’s chances of compensation.
Here is a checklist of what to do after you’ve been in a car accident.
Never drive away from the scene of the accident, even if you think the accident is a small one. It is illegal to drive away from the accident.
Secure the scene
You can prevent more accidents by turning on your flashers to warn other drivers that there has been an accident. If it is dark, use a flashlight and wait in your car or on the side of the road.
After an accident you should always collect information regarding any car or cars that were involved in the collision. You should write down license plate numbers, driver’s license numbers, names, contact information and insurance information from all drivers involved. You should also talk to witnesses of the collision and get their names and contact information as well. Take photographs of the damage to both vehicles and the position of the cars in the roadway immediately following the accident. If you have been injured, you should take photos of your injuries. However, do not interfere with the police when you collect your information.
When the police arrive be sure to give the investigating officers an accurate description of the collision. If you don’t know certain facts, tell that to the officer. Do not admit fault or any responsibility. If asked if you are injured and you don’t know, say “not sure”. Don’t say “no”. Some injuries become apparent hours after the collision.
Report the collision
Report the collision to your insurance company as soon as possible because many policies require immediate reporting and full cooperation. Shortly after the collision an insurance adjuster will give you a call.
Seek medical attention
Even if you feel like you are fine, it is in your best interest to go to a doctor and receive a full inspection. Some injuries can arise days later and it is in your interest to have documentation of your injuries from a medical professional. Even in collisions involving minor impact, you can sustain a serious and permanent injury to your spinal cord.
Hopefully, this list will help you be prepared in the event of a collision. If you or a loved one has been injured in a car crash contact us today. We’re here to help.