Table of Contents
- 1. Call the Police
- 2. Gather Evidence
- 3. Exchange Information with the Other Driver(s)
- 4. Hire a Lawyer
- 5. Report the Accident
- 6. Seek Medical Care
- 7. Keep All Accident-Related Documents
- 8. Get a Property Damage Valuation
- 9. Use Caution When Discussing the Case
- 10. Take Care of Yourself
- Need More Car Accident Legal Advice?
Every year, more than 1.25 million people die in car accidents. Another 20-50 million people are injured or disabled, too.
If you’ve recently been injured in a car accident, you likely need some car accident legal advice.
It can be stressful and frustrating trying to deal with insurance companies and get the compensation you need in order to pay your medical bills and move on with your life.
If you’re in this situation right now, or if you just want to know what to do if you’re injured in an accident in the future, keep reading.
The following are ten steps to take to make sure you’re taken care of and receive the compensation you deserve after your accident.
1. Call the Police
The first thing you ought to do if you’re involved in a car accident (whether you think you’re injured or not) is to call the police.
A police report is often necessary when filing claims with your insurance company.
Having a police officer on the scene right after the accident can also help to ensure that everything gets handled correctly and no one tries to leave.
2. Gather Evidence
While you’re still at the scene, take time to gather evidence. This includes taking photos of your car and the other cars involved in the accident. You also ought to take photos of any obvious injuries that occurred during the accident.
Start putting together an accurate record of the event, too. This includes writing down license plate numbers and making note of issues that could have prevented or caused the accident (a malfunctioning stoplight, a hard-to-see stop sign, etc.).
3. Exchange Information with the Other Driver(s)
Be sure to exchange information with the other driver or drivers involved in the accident, too.
At a minimum, collect their phone numbers, license plant numbers, and insurance information. This way, you will be able to get in touch with them and their insurance providers later on.
If there are people around who witnessed the accident, now is a good time to get statements from them, too.
Ask them to write down or record what they saw, and be sure to get their contact information as well. This will come in handy later when you need someone to corroborate your story.
4. Hire a Lawyer
The sooner you can hire a car accident lawyer to help you with your case, the better.
A lawyer will help you deal with the insurance companies (yours and the at-fault driver’s) and help you ensure you receive the compensation you need.
They will also help you avoid a lot of the stress and frustration that comes after being involved in a car accident. That way, you can just focus on your recovery.
5. Report the Accident
It’s important to report the accident to your insurance company right away, too. In order to receive assistance covering the costs of your medical care and the repairs to your car, you’ll need to report the accident as soon as possible.
Remember, the sooner you contact your insurance company, the sooner you’ll be able to get help paying for the costs associated with the accident.
You’ll also likely need to get in touch with the at-fault driver’s insurance company. When you do this, it’s best to have your lawyer present. He or she can oversee the call and make sure you don’t say anything that could be used against you.
6. Seek Medical Care
You must seek medical care right away. Even if your injuries don’t seem serious, you’ll need documentation from a licensed physician if you want to receive compensation for those injuries.
Remember, too, that some injuries don’t show up right away.
If you see a doctor right after your accident, they can identify issues that might become problematic in the future and make note of them. Without this, it’ll be much harder for you to prove that your injuries are, in fact, a result of the car accident.
7. Keep All Accident-Related Documents
Hang on to all documents related to your accident. This includes records from the hospital or your doctor’s office, as well as copies of reports describing the damage to your car.
The more documentation you have that backs up your case, the easier it will be for your lawyer to help you get the compensation you need.
8. Get a Property Damage Valuation
You should also see a mechanic to get an idea of the severity of the damaged done to your car. Getting a property damage valuation from a mechanic will add validity to your case and ensure you receive sufficient compensation to cover the necessary repairs.
9. Use Caution When Discussing the Case
It might be tempting to share information about the case on social media. Remember, though, that these kinds of posts can hurt more than they can help.
If you are posting on social media right after your accident, the at-fault driver’s insurance company might be able to make the case that your injuries and the damage to your car aren’t as severe as you say.
If you say anything like, “I’m okay” or “it’s alright” online regarding your accident, they could use that against you as well.
10. Take Care of Yourself
Finally, make sure you’re taking good care of yourself while you and your lawyer work through your case.
Look for ways to reduce your stress as much as possible. Avoid smoking or consuming harmful substances, too, and make sure you’re attending regular doctor’s appointments to stay on top of your health and recovery.
Need More Car Accident Legal Advice?
As you can see, there’s a lot you ought to do after you’ve been involved in a car accident.
All this car accident legal advice might seem overwhelming at first.
If you keep these tips in mind, though, you’ll have a much easier time navigating life after your accident and getting the care and compensation you need.
If you want to learn more about what to do about preventing and handling future accidents, check out some of the other articles on our site today.
This article about the benefits of having a dash cam is a great one to read first.