This is a commonly asked question in personal injury law due to a car accident being a stressful and overwhelming experience. Oftentimes, it can be difficult to think clearly and make the right decisions in the aftermath of a crash. However, what you do immediately after a car accident can have a significant impact on the outcome of a situation and potentially your future, particularly if you need to hire an attorney due to sustaining personal injuries.
Here are some important steps to take if you are ever involved in a car accident:
• Remain Calm. The first thing to do after impact is to try and remain calm. Take a few deep breaths and try to assess the situation as objectively as possible. This will help you to make rational decisions and take appropriate action going forward.
• Check for Injuries. Check yourself and any passengers for injuries. If anyone is hurt, call for medical assistance immediately.
• Move to Safety, if Possible. If the accident is not serious, move any vehicles off the roadway and out of the way of active traffic lanes. However, if anyone is seriously injured, do not move any vehicles or road debris until law enforcement arrives and you are instructed to do so.
• Call the Police. Call the police and report the accident, even if it is minor. The police will document the incident and create an official report. This documentation can be very helpful later on if you need to file an insurance claim or take legal action.
• Exchange Information. Exchange information with the other driver(s) involved in the accident. Get their name(s), contact information and insurance details. You should also gather contact information from any witnesses of the accident.
• Take Photos & Video. Take photos and video of the damage to all cars involved and the surrounding area. This can be useful evidence for insurance purposes.
• Be Careful What You Say. Be careful what you say after an auto accident. Do not admit fault or apologize for an incident, as this can be used against you later on. Always tell the truth to authorities, stick to the facts and avoid making any unnecessary statements that could be interpreted as an admission of guilt. Silence is golden and the less said, the better.
• Contact Your Insurance Company. Contact your insurance company as soon as possible to report the accident. Provide them with all of the information and documentation that you have gathered.
In conclusion, taking the right steps immediately after an accident can help to minimize its impact from physical, emotional and financial perspectives. Staying calm, checking for injuries, moving to safety, calling the police, exchanging information, taking photos, being cautions about what is said and contacting your insurance company are tasks that should all be prioritized. By following these steps, you can ensure that you are protected and in a better position should you need to take legal action due to injuries sustained.
If you are involved in a car accident, be sure contact a personal injury attorney at Hurst Limontes, LLC. We have decades of combined experience fighting for our clients in any number of personal injury claims. We work on a contingency basis, meaning there is no cost to you unless we reach a settlement or jury verdict award on your behalf.
Call 317-636-0808 or email us for a FREE and confidential consultation.