A car accident can be an incredible scary time. Even though car accidents happen every day, we never really expect them to happen to us. So when we’re in a collision, it can be shocking and startling.
While it is normal to feel confused after a car accident occurs, the first steps you take after a crash are crucial for a personal injury case. To ensure you get the compensation you deserve, here are a few steps you need to take.
Take a Moment.
Before you do anything, take a moment to collect yourself. As we mentioned, the first few steps after a car accident can be crucial. If you’re feeling nervous, scared, or flustered, you’re more likely to forget an important step.
Take a moment to catch your breath and calm down before you get out of your vehicle.
Check for Injuries.
First make sure you are injury-free. If you only have small cuts and bruises that can wait for medical attention, check to ensure your passengers are not seriously injured.
Once you know everyone in your vehicle is safe, check on passengers of the other vehicle. Anyone who needs immediate medical attention should go straight to the hospital.
Call for Help.
Whether or not someone needs immediate medical attention, you’ll need to at least call for the police. You will want to have a police report on file to document the events of the accident.
The police report should reflect the damage, injuries, and series of events leading up to the accident. Be sure both you and the other driver accurately describe what happened to the police officer when he or she arrives.
Collect Driver Information
You and the other driver will then want to exchange insurance and contact information. Regardless of who was at fault, you will need to both get each other’s insurance details, such as the provider and policy number.
You will also want to write down the other driver’s name, address, phone number, and the details of the vehicle. The vehicle’s make, model, year and license plate are all crucial.
Photos or even videos can be extremely beneficial for your insurance provider and for a personal injury case. Use your camera phone to document the damage done at the scene.
Take photos of your vehicle, the other vehicle and any injuries. Be sure you capture the damage from all angles. Send copies of the images to an email or back them up on cloud storage to ensure you have a second copy.
Talk with Witnesses
Drivers involved in an accident rarely understand the full extent of what happened leading up to the collision. Talking to witnesses who saw the whole thing happen can give you a better idea of who is at fault or what mistakes were made.
Get contact information for any witnesses, including their name and phone number.
Call your Insurance Provider
You’ll want to talk with your insurance provider as soon as you’re done collecting information about the accident. Tell them the details of what happened, the extent of your damage, and ask if they need any additional information.
Your insurance provider will typically ask for pictures of the damage. Be sure not to exaggerate the extent of the damage or lie about what happened. If caught, you could get in serious trouble.
Get Medical Help
If you’ve been injured, you want to head to the hospital as soon as you can. While a trip can wait until you’ve completed the police report and spoken to your insurance provider, you don’t want to wait too long.
Visiting a doctor is crucial for getting compensation for a personal injury case. If you’re not injured enough to see a professional, the court won’t believe you’re injured enough to receive compensation.
Get a Damage Valuation
Before getting your vehicle fixed, ask a repair shop to give you a valuation of how much it will cost to fix the damage. You can get a few different valuations if you would like to compare costs.
Keep these files handy as they will be important for your settlement amount.
Contact a Personal Injury Attorney
You should contact a personal injury attorney as soon as you have received medical treatment and talked with your insurance company. If you’re worried about doing something wrong, you can contact a personal injury attorney beforehand.
A personal injury attorney will help you gather the information you need and build your case. They can ensure you have all the information you need and that you don’t accidentally do something that could hurt your chances of getting a settlement. If you’re looking for a personal injury attorney in Arizona, contact Lamber Goodnow to begin discussing your accident.