Nobody ever prepares for a vehicle accident. But if you are, it’s important to know what to do next. Follow these 8 steps to take after a car accident and you’ll be on your way to getting the help you need and protecting your rights.
1. Consult With A Lawyer
If you’ve been in a car accident, one of the best things you can do is consult with a lawyer. They can help you understand your rights and options, and they can give you valuable guidance on what to do next.
Don’t try to do it alone – a lawyer can be invaluable after an accident. People that worked with any reputable New Jersey car accident lawyer, our out-of-state friends, say that you should always have a professional on your side. Of course, if you are in the St. Louis metro area you can call a St. Louis car accident lawyer as well. This way you can have peace of mind and know that you’re making the best decisions for your case.
2. See A Doctor
It’s crucial to get medical care as quickly as you can if you’ve been hurt in a car accident. Even if your injuries seem minor, it is still worth getting checked out by a doctor. People often think they are fine after an accident when they are not.
Whiplash is a common injury that can occur in an accident and can take days or even weeks to develop symptoms. It could be more challenging to demonstrate that the collision caused your injuries if you wait too long to see a doctor.
If you are able to, go to the emergency room or urgent care right after the accident. If you are not able to do this, make an appointment to see your regular doctor as soon as possible. Be sure to tell the doctor that you were in an accident and describe your symptoms. Be sure to keep all of your medical appointments and follow any treatment plan prescribed by your doctor.
3. Contact Your Insurance Company
After a car accident, it’s critical to get in touch with your insurance provider as quickly as you can. Your insurer will be able to help you with the next steps in the claims process. Having your phone in the car while driving enables you to call for help in case of an accident. When you call, make sure to have your policy number on hand.
The representative you speak with will likely ask for some basic information about the accident, such as the date and time it occurred, where it happened, if the car caught on fire, and if there were multiple vehicles involved. They may also ask for a brief description of the damage to your vehicle. Have all this information ready before you call so that the process can move along quickly.
4. Talk To Any Witnesses
If you are involved in a car accident, it is important to stay calm and take some basic steps to ensure everyone’s safety and well-being. One of the first things you should do is talk to any witnesses who may have seen what happened. This will help you piece together what happened and could be helpful if you need to file an insurance claim or police report. If there are no witnesses, try to take some photos of the scene to document what happened.
Take statements if you can, but be sure not to pressure anyone into giving you their information. Just let them know that you may need to get in touch with them later and thank them for their help. If there are no witnesses and you are unable to take photos, try to make a mental note of any important details about the accident, such as the location, time of day, and weather conditions.
5. Do Not Admit Guilt
Do not admit guilt after a car accident, even if you think you may be at fault. Anything you say can be used against you later on and may complicate your case. It’s important to let your attorney speak on your behalf.
You can check if anyone is injured and if so, call for medical assistance right away. If the accident is minor and there are no injuries, you can move your car to the side of the road if it’s blocking traffic. Once you’ve done that, give the other driver your insurance information.
6. Contact The Police
One of the most important steps to take immediately after a car accident is to contact the police. By doing so, you can ensure that a report is filed and that an investigation into the cause of the accident is conducted. In some cases, the police may even issue citations or make arrests if they deem it necessary. Even if the accident is not serious, it’s still a good idea to contact the police so that you have a record of what happened.
They will usually come out to the scene and investigate. In more serious accidents, they will often call in a traffic accident reconstruction team to help piece together what happened. The police report can be very helpful later on when dealing with insurance companies or if you need to take legal action. So don’t forget to contact them as soon as possible after an accident.
7. Call In A Tow Truck If It’s Needed
If you have a tow truck on hand, great. If not, then you’ll need to call one in. Be sure to get the name of the driver and the truck’s license plate number so you can give that information to your insurance company. In addition, be sure to take pictures of the damage to both vehicles before they are towed away.
Tow trucks aren’t always necessary, but if your car is damaged and needs to be towed, it’s important to take the right steps. Be sure to get the driver’s information and take pictures of the damage before the car is towed away. This will help make the claims process go smoothly.
8. Don’t Take The First Offer From The Insurance Company
It’s important to not take the first offer from the insurance company after a car accident. This is because they will likely try to settle for less than what you deserve. It’s important to get an estimate of the damage from a reputable source before accepting any offers. You should also consult with a personal injury lawyer to ensure you are getting fair compensation.
These are eight important steps to take immediately after a car accident. By following these steps, you can ensure everyone’s safety and well-being and make the claims process go smoothly.