The Do’s and Don’ts Directly After a Car Accident

checklist of what to do after a car accident

Regardless of how skilled or careful of a driver you are, a collision is an unforeseen event that can happen to anyone. Studies show that there are over 5 million car accidents in the US every year. So, what’s the right thing to do after a car accident? Read on to learn more.

 

Do the Following

As an involved party, what you do and say is crucial for what happens next. Following these to-dos will also help your car accident claim end in success, should you choose to file one.

1. Call 911

Fear, anxiety, and confusion are all normal feelings after a collision. However, you want to keep a level head and call the authorities. Contact the police to report the accident right away. Then, request paramedics if you or someone else appear to need medical attention.

Depending on how severe the accident is, the authorities will need to be contacted regardless. Damages that exceed $1,000 or an accident that results in death, by law, must be reported.

2. Document the Car Accident Scene

If there are no authorities near you, try to document the situation yourself. As the scene changes, it becomes hard to collect evidence of what happened. Witnesses can leave anytime, crash debris shifts, and more can transition in a short span.

You can use your smartphone to capture injuries, the positions of the vehicles, vehicle debris, and street conditions. This includes traffic lights, street signage, and pavement conditions.

If there are bystanders, ask them if they saw the car wreck. They can provide you with information and confirm the events of the accident. Also, ask for the contact information, so they can provide a formal statement.

3. Exchange Information With the Other Driver

Apart from the witnesses, it’s crucial to get information about the other driver. You can find it hard to process the case if you fail to collect vital details. Therefore, get the name of the involved parties, the license plate number of the vehicle, and the car model.

Also, ask for the driver’s license number, car registration, and insurance information. In a car accident investigation, these are all crucial. In addition, you must exchange information with the parties involved in the accident.

4. Hire a Lawyer

Many collision incidents resolve pretty quickly. Both parties can come to an agreement without having to seek legal aid. However, this is not always the case, especially if there are severe injuries and damages involved.

Hiring a car accident lawyer allows you to focus on your recovery as they handle the complex things for you. You can count on your lawyer to deal with the parties involved, their attorneys, and insurers. They assess liability problems and determine the best settlement for you.

5. Seek Medical Attention

While you may feel fine after a car accident, some injuries take time to fully develop, such as concussions or internal bleeding. The injury can worsen if you wait for days before seeking medical attention. So even if you feel fine, it’s best to see a doctor.

In addition, failing to seek treatment can give the appearance that you were not injured in the crash to insurance adjusters.  This can reduce the worth of your car accident claim.

 

Don’t Do the Following

To prevent more legal issues, there are things you must not do after getting involved in a collision. Here is what to avoid after a car accident.

1. Leave the Scene

When involved in a car wreck, some individuals consider running away. You might feel scared or overwhelmed, and that’s okay. However, fleeing from the scene can look like an admittance that you’re at fault.

In other instances, the party who is not at fault may be under the impression that they do not need to stay at the accident scene, since they did not do anything wrong. However, even if you know you weren’t at fault, you can get in legal trouble for not staying at the scene until authorities arrived.

2. Admit Fault

Regardless of who caused the accident, you must never admit fault. Likewise, never claim that you believe you caused the crash, as your statement can be used against you. Even if you are partially responsible, you do not know that the other party also caused the crash.

Even saying “sorry” can make it appear that you are admitting fault. Therefore, remain self-aware and try to say as little as possible until you have spoken with an attorney.

3. Agree to a Settlement

When you’re the victim, expect the other party’s insurance to negotiate with you. Instead of going through the whole legal settlement process, the driver at fault or an insurance adjuster may offer to pay you. If this happens, it’s best not to accept their proposal or payment.

By agreeing to the settlement, you disregard your right to compensation. In addition, the other party may undervalue the actual worth of damages. It’s best to contact a lawyer and ask for legal advice. A trusted lawyer can make help you make an assessment for fair compensation.

4. Repair Your Vehicle

After a car wreck, you may want to get your car repaired as soon as possible. However, it’s best to wait before getting your car fixed, as the parts are crucial evidence. Your attorney may want to thoroughly examine the vehicle before having it repaired.

 

What to Do and Not to Do After a Car Accident

Were you recently involved in a car accident? You can contact us for a free consultation about your case, and learn how we can help you recover maximum compensation from the at-fault party.

 

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