You have just been in a car accident. It may have been your first one, or it may have been more serious than others you have been in. Here are a car accident lawyers’ most important steps to take immediately after a wreck.
Check yourself and passengers for serious injuries.
If you have just been in a car crash, you may be injured. You might feel pain right away. You may not feel pain until some time later. However, it is important that you check yourself and your passengers right away and determine whether you need to call 911 for immediate emergency medical attention at the scene.
Call the police.
Even if no one needs immediate emergency medical care, it is vital that you call the police to come to the scene of the accident and investigate what happened. Sometimes fault is clear when a car crash happens, and a traffic citation will be issued to the at-fault party. Other times, the police need to speak with those involved and any witnesses to document everything because they cannot determine who is at fault. It is important to make sure the police are called so that they can document contact information for all parties and take statements from witnesses.
Take pictures of the scene.
If it is safe for you to do so, you should take pictures of all vehicles involved in the wreck for use as evidence later. It is best to take pictures before the vehicles are moved, but sometimes that is not possible. You will want to take photographs of the damage to the vehicles for use with the insurance companies and to show the severity of the accident.
Call your insurance company.
It is important to call your insurance company to make a claim after a wreck. There are several coverages on automobile insurance policies that vary by state, so it is important to contact a car accident lawyer to help you navigate your insurance policy and what you may be entitled to. For example, sometimes it makes more sense to handle the property damage to your vehicle under the collision portion of your insurance policy than to go through the at-fault party’s liability coverage if there is a dispute or denial.
Seek medical treatment.
Even if you did not require emergency medical treatment at the scene, you may have suffered injuries that begin to bother you later that day or the next day. If you do, seek immediate medical attention to diagnose, treat, and document your injuries. If you are injured in a car accident, you may be entitled to compensation for your medical bills, time missed from work, pain and suffering, and other damages. It is important to get clear medical opinions about the extent of your injuries early to know whether the insurance company is treating you fairly or not.
Contact a lawyer.
Most car accident lawyers will offer free consultations to review your accident and options with you. reach out to a lawyer, like one from Garrett, Walker, Aycoth & Olson, Attorneys at Law, to learn more. If you have taken the steps listed above, it will help a lawyer to advise you about your case. It is essential that you speak with a lawyer before agreeing to anything or signing any documents.