A car accident lawyer can give you advice about the specific actions you should take following a car accident. Here are some of the most important recommendations that a car accident lawyer will give to accident victims:
1. Check for injuriesImmediately after the car accident, assess if you or anyone in your car is injured. Also, check to see if any passengers in other cars involved are badly hurt. If so, call 911 for help immediately. Then assist the injured as much as possible until help arrives. Do not move injured people unless absolutely necessary, such as if there is a danger of vehicle fire.
2. Do not leave the sceneIt is against the law to leave the scene of a car accident without stopping if you were involved in the mishap. If you do so, you will be charged with hit and run, which will severely damage your case.
3. Call the policeA police report is a critical component to your case. Except in the most minor collisions, the police should be summoned to the scene of any car accident to file a report.
4. Collect informationYou should exchange information with other drivers involved in the car accident. At minimum, you should collect the license plate and vehicle identification number, as well as the driver’s license number, insurance and contact information of all the drivers involved.
5. Take photosYou should attempt to photograph the scene of the accident while the cars are still in the position they were in following the collision. If you must move the vehicles for safety reasons, take photos of the surrounding area from several angles, including skid marks, debris and other accident clues, as well as the damage to each car involved. Most cellphones are equipped with cameras.
6. Don’t admit faultA car accident lawyer will urge you not to admit fault at the accident scene to anyone. Doing so will be used against you and may make you liable for damages. It is especially important for you not to admit blame to the other driver’s insurance company, and never allow your statement to be recorded without first speaking with a car accident lawyer.
7. Talk to witnessesIf there were witnesses to the car accident, try to interview them and see if they can help your case. Get their contact information so you can contact them later to back up your claim.
8. Seek medical attentionIf you were hurt, even slightly, in the car accident, a car accident lawyer will want you to see a doctor as soon as possible. Many of the most severe injuries could take days, weeks, or months to manifest themselves. It is crucial to be checked by a physician to document and treat your injuries and to assess the future medical costs you can expect to incur for future treatment.
9. Call your insurance companyCall your auto insurance company and report the accident. Your company will work on some of the details with the other insurance companies involved to help facilitate repairing or replacing your car and getting you the medical care you need.