What to do After a Car Accident?
Over 1.35 million people suffer fatal injuries, and an additional 20 to 50 million people sustain non-fatal injuries due to road accidents globally. These accidents have a negative impact on the victims, their family members, and the economy.
A car accident is a traumatizing experience. If it is your first time, you may not know what to do or how to react to the situation. It is important to remember that, regardless of whether you are at fault, what you say or do after the accident will greatly impact your claim. If you are in a car accident, you may have a right to file a car accident claim.
To protect your legal rights for compensation and ensure that you file the claim as per your state’s laws, you should speak to a car accident attorney in your area as soon as possible. The attorney will advise you on what you should do to help your case. Here are some of the things that you should do after the accident.
Call the Police
The police report is vital to your claim. If you are in a car crash, do not try to settle things with the other driver or leave the scene before the police get there. While at the scene, the police can gather a lot of evidence and information that can work in your favor. The police also give citations to the driver found guilty of breaking traffic laws and help determine fault.
Read: Car Accidents: The Definitive Guide
If you are able to get out of your car or move after the accident, you should try to gather as much information as you can while at the scene:
- Witness statements and contact information
- The other drivers’ name and contact information
- The other drivers’ insurance information
- Weather conditions
- Pictures of the scene, including the traffic lights, skid marks, and more
- Pictures of your injuries
- Pictures of the vehicles
It is also vital that you write down all you can remember about the accident while still remembering the details. Write down the date, time, road conditions, the place where the accident occurred, and what the weather was like at the time.
Call Your Insurer
Whether you are at fault or not, it would help if you called your insurance company. This is important if you are in a no-fault state because they will compensate you for your damages. However, if you are in a fault state, you will need your insurer in the case of comparative negligence.
Go to the Hospital
You can only claim compensation for your injuries or lost wages if you are able to prove that you were injured in the crash. The at-fault party requires evidence such as medical records, doctor’s reports, hospital bills, x-rays, or scan results to prove your claim and also to value it.
If you fail to go to the hospital, you may not claim injuries that manifest later or any negative psychological, emotional, or social effects of the accident as they will be deemed unrelated to the accident. Your attorney will use your medical records and bills, police reports, your report, witness statements, and experts’ reports as evidence to support your claim and negotiate a fair settlement.
Hire a Car Accident Attorney
If you have been injured in a car accident due to someone’s negligence, you have a right to file a claim and get compensated. However, knowing what to do to support your claim and ensure that you get fairly compensated is essential.
The right attorney will advise you on what to do and how to talk to the police and claims adjusters to protect your claim. Speak to an attorney in your state as soon as possible.