The shock of being involved in a car accident is immediate. No one expects another car to hit them as they’re on the road, so it takes effect immediately. If you’re involved in an accident, you’ll experience a flood of emotions in the few moments following the collision. Shock, confusion, anger, fury, and more will all make it difficult for you to concentrate on the fact you were just hit. Now you’re sitting in your car in the middle of the road in shock wondering what you do next. Our attorneys handle enough car accident cases to know immediately what you do following an accident.
Never leave the scene of an accident. If you caused the accident, it’s going to become a hit and run if you leave. A hit and run is illegal and it’s a crime, which means your car accident case just turned into a criminal case.
Call the Police
The first thing you do is call the police. You need them to respond as quickly as possible, and it’s never safe to assume someone else witnessed the accident and called. Provide your name, your location, and any other information you think is necessary, especially if one of the victims is badly injured in the accident.
Take Photos, Gather Information, and Find Witnesses
Now that the police have been called, it’s time to protect the scene and do what you can to gather evidence. Take photos of the accident from all angles. Take many photos. Get your personal information, insurance information, and your car registration. Find any witnesses willing to stick around and recount their version of what happened when the police arrive.
Speak to the Police
Now you speak to the police. They’ll ask what happened, and it’s imperative you share only the facts. If you don’t know it to be a fact, don’t say it. Don’t assume you know what happened when someone hit you. Speak only what you know, even if it’s very little. The police will file a report at the scene, and they’ll use the position of the cars, the damage, statements from you and the at-fault driver, and they’ll use witness statements to determine fault.
Seek Medical Attention
Even if you assume you’re just fine since no injuries are apparent, let the medics on the scene check you out. They can tell you whether you have a concussion of symptoms of an unseen injury. You want these medical records if you intend to file a lawsuit later. You also want to protect your health, which means diagnosing any injuries or health issues right away. The faster they’re realized, the faster they’re treated, and the faster you heal.
Report The Accident
The police report has the information of the other driver on it, so now is the time to call and report the accident with their insurance company. This gets the ball rolling in your favor, which means an adjuster will come check out the damage to your car faster, and you’ll get your rental car faster. If the other driver has no insurance policy, call your own insurance company to file a claim. They’ll pay for the damages, your rental car, and your medical bills while also going after the other driver for reimbursement for the accident bills if you have uninsured or underinsured motorist coverage.
Call an Attorney
If you are asked to sign any paperwork by the at-fault driver’s insurance company, you are unsure what to do, and you have questions, call us. The first consultation we provide is free, and we can help you determine the next course of action. Do you file a lawsuit? Do you have enough evidence and reason to file one? Should you accept the insurance company’s first offer if they make one? Our attorneys have ample experience helping clients involved in car accidents seek the proper treatment, help, and damages following an accident caused by someone else. It’s called negligence, and it’s something we work with on a regular basis. Let us help you handle this case on your behalf.