What Should I Do After My Car Accident?
Car accidents can happen at any time and, when they do occur, things happen very quickly. Emotions are running high and rational thought is difficult to achieve, but it’s the most important time to remain calm. Doing so makes it much easier to follow a course of action that will help you protect your best interests.
Don’t Leave the Scene
It’s important to stay at the scene until all emergency personnel has arrived and the authorities notify you that you’re able to leave. This is especially important if the accident resulted in serious injuries or deaths. If you leave early, you risk being charged with a hit and run.
Check Out the Scene
Generally, it takes time for the police and other emergency personnel to arrive. You can use this time to check on the other drivers and passengers who were involved in the accident. This will help you to determine who needs medical attention when the trained personnel does arrive. Be careful not to move anyone who may have a back or neck injury, because movement may aggravate the injuries. If a hazard such as fire is present, then it is acceptable and even advisable to move any injured people away from the scene to a safe place.
Communicate with the Other Drivers
This is the time to exchange information with the other drivers. Get their names, phone numbers, and insurance information. Also obtain information about passengers, such as their names, phone numbers, and addresses. When speaking with others at the car accident scene, it’s important that you don’t apologize or admit fault. Witnesses could testify against you if the case ends up in court and destroy your chances of a fair outcome.
Get Information from any Witnesses
While you’re still at the scene, speak with the witnesses. Get their names and contact information, but also find out what they observed. It may also be helpful to ask if they remember witnessing any other automobile accidents in the same area. Additionally, take pictures of the scene. Getting photographic proof before police clear the scene will certainly help when dealing with insurance companies and any court proceedings that may result.
Get Medical Treatment
This should be your biggest priority upon leaving the scene. Even if you don’t think or feel that you’re injured, you should still go to the hospital and get checked out. Some injuries, such as traumatic brain injuries, can take time to manifest. You should also keep track of your medical expenses and have copies of your bills, records, and test results.
Call Your Insurance Company
You may already have done this at the scene of the accident. If not, you should call your insurance company to report the accident as soon as possible. Tell the agent everything about the accident. Don’t lie or stretch the truth. If they discover a deception, they may deny you coverage for the accident.
Don’t Discuss the Accident
This includes making social media posts about the incident and sharing photos from the scene on sites like Facebook or Instagram. Doing so can adversely affect your case and may cost you a settlement. Even if you don’t go to court, the insurance companies may use your social media posts against you.
Consult a Law Firm that Limits its Practice to Personal Injury and Wrongful Death
Insurance companies don’t usually have your best interests in mind and may not offer you a fair settlement. An experienced personal injury attorney can evaluate your case and help you seek the compensation you deserve for a full recovery. If you’ve been injured in an accident, call Blackburn and Green today for a free consultation at one of their 27 offices.
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