What To Do After an Accident
No one anticipates being in an accident when they first get in their car or hop on their motorcycle. After all, you may just be going to the store for a gallon of milk or down the street to meet some friends. But more than 50 percent of accidents in the United States happen within five miles of a person’s residence. It’s important to be prepared and know what to do in case you find yourself involved in an accident. The minutes immediately following a collision are undeniably stressful; knowing in advance what you need to do can help make a difficult situation more manageable.
What to do after an accident:
Determine if anyone is injured, and call 911 if necessary.
Seek medical attention if you feel you or your passengers may have been injured. Keep in mind that not all injuries are evident immediately after the accident. It’s better to err on the side of caution than to find out later that you’ve sustained an injury.
For minor accidents with no apparent serious injuries, take a photo of each vehicle’s location, then move cars to the side of the road and out of the way of oncoming traffic.
If possible, set up flares or traffic cones to alert other motorists. It’s important not to compound your accident with other vehicles hitting you while your cars are in the road.
Call the police, even if the accident is relatively minor.
This way you have an official record of the accident, what happened, and the parties involved. Insurance companies generally require that there be a police report on file to even consider your claim.
Make notes and take pictures to document what happened while it’s all fresh in your mind.
Such documentation can go a long way to supporting your side of the story should your case find its way into a courtroom.
Call your insurance company to report the accident.
Your insurance company will want to know about the accident no matter which driver was at fault. Calling early helps make you look responsible in the eyes of the insurance company. In addition, most claims have a time limit for filing in order to be paid a settlement.
Limit your remarks to the facts.
Don’t offer your opinion or express guilt for the accident. It’s easy to say things you may not mean in the stress of the moment and before you’ve had a chance to review all the facts. For this reason, and to keep all of your options open, it’s important not to admit guilt or offer any opinions about the accident while you’re at the scene.
Call a lawyer if there’s an indication of injury, either with someone in your car or the other vehicle.
Enlisting the aid of a good accident attorney is a good idea in any serious accident. In fact, it’s imperative when there are injuries involved. A skilled personal injury lawyer can help you collect the money you need to pay medical bills and support your family until you’re able to work again.
Stay at the scene of the accident until the other parties and the police are ready to leave.
It goes without saying that you never want to leave the scene of the accident without reporting it or checking to see if the other party is hurt.
If you’ve been injured in an auto or motorcycle accident, we’re here to help. Contact the Deuterman Law Group today for a free consultation.