Steps to Take After a Car Accident
It’s tough to focus amidst the chaos and confusion that follows a motor vehicle accident. It’s even worse the accident isn’t your fault.
The other driver may gave come out from nowhere. Despite this, you should check yourself and other victims of medical issues. After this, you’re ready to turn your mind and thoughts on the next course of action.
And remember, your health and legal rights are dependent on the steps you take. It’s therefore prudent that you make and take the right steps. These include:
- Check for Injuries
After an accident, your priority should be your safety and that of other passengers. Therefore, check your body for any apparent passengers and do the same for other passengers in your vehicle.
If the injuries are life-threatening, call an ambulance immediately. If you know and are in a position to administer first aid, then do so. It’s also important to keep the critically injured patients in position as they wait for help. Remember some injuries like spine and neck injuries may become permanent with wrong movements.
- Protect the Accident Scene
After checking for injuries and applying first aid measures, move on to preserving the accident scene. Don’t let any person tamper with the scene, move the vehicles or touch anything. It’s important to leave everything like it for the police and insurance investigators to make their observations and conclusions.
As part of protecting the scene, warn other motorists of the accident. You can do this by setting up flares or opening your flashers.
- Contact an Attorney
If you get involved in an accident, contacting a car accident attorney should be a priority. Unlike the insurance company, the attorney has your best interests at heart. With their knowledge and expertise, they’ll ensure you get maximum compensation for these damages. But that’s not all, the lawyer will guide you on the statements to take and also contact witnesses on your behalf.
- Contact the Police
It’s important to file a formal report with law enforcement on the accident. Remember, the police or other relevant law enforcement agencies conduct a preliminary investigation, interview parties, and examine the scene. further, they’ll inspect the vehicles and give a determination on the party at fault.
Without the police report, you expose your case to a “he-said or she-said” situation. You don’t want this to happen. And yes, the other party may accept liability for the accident but remember they may change their story later. Don’t let this happen to you.
- Gather Witness Information
Are there any witnesses on the scene? If so, then take their contact details. In most cases, these people will not wait until the police or insurance agents get to the scene. As a result, you risk getting into a situation where it is your word against that of the other driver. However, with witness details and information, you can help the police determine the party at fault.
Further, police reports do not capture witness details with a view of contacting them later. With this, it’s impossible to track them when you need them to testify in court. Therefore, make sure you’re in a position to obtain witness information at the scene.
- Seek Medical Treatment
Always seek medical attention after an accident. Yes, the external injuries may be superficial, but do you know whether there were internal injuries? Of course not, the only way to know this is by visiting a hospital and getting results from a competent doctor.
But that’s not all, waiting for long before seeking medical attention gives the insurance companies room to reduce your compensation among. The reason, they argue that the injuries didn’t emanate from the accident.
As a driver, the last thing you want is to get into an accident. But if this happens, there are several things to do which will preserve your chances of getting full compensation for your injuries. And whatever you do, seek guidance and counsel from your car accident attorney.