Five Things to Do After a Car AccidentLast updated on: February 11, 2015
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Car accidents can cause serious bodily injuries, property damage, and trauma. Sadly, the consequences of car accidents can follow drivers and passengers for the rest of their lives.
Unfortunately, car accidents are much more common than many people believe, so it is never too early to be prepared to face the aftermath of one. After an accident, there are certain steps to take to ease your recovery process. Following these five steps can help you recover more quickly after an accident.
Consider saving a printed copy of these for your glove box. Then, if you or a loved one was injured in a car accident, call Zinda Law Group at (800) 863-5312 for a free case evaluation with one of our experienced accident attorneys.
WHAT SHOULD I DO AFTER A CAR ACCIDENT?
1. Avoid admitting fault.
Liability allocation is an important step in car accident claims. In many states, the driver responsible for the accident is liable for all resulting injuries, costs, and damages. If you were involved in a car accident, it is important that you avoid accepting fault for the collision without first consulting with a legal professional.
Even if you think that you may have been fully or partially responsible for the accident, do not admit fault because you may not be aware of all of the factors that caused or contributed to the wreck. Such an admission may be used against you in future proceedings, especially if you later wish to hold someone else accountable for your losses.
At the initial collision scene, you may not be aware of what was going on inside the other vehicle, what traffic laws the other driver might have broken, or what other circumstances might have transpired in the seconds or minutes leading up to the crash. A subsequent investigation may later reveal that the other driver failed to yield to you, was texting at the time of the incident, or ran a stop sign. Unfortunately, if you already accepted fault for the accident, you may have a difficult time pursuing damages.
Drivers should avoid getting into lengthy conversations about what happened after an accident, for these conversations can lead to unprovoked confessions or admissions that do not necessarily reflect the facts of the accident. You must also avoid giving statements to insurance investigators or the family members of the other motorist, especially before you have a chance to retain counsel. While you are obligated to cooperate with the police and give any necessary information, you are not usually required to go into detailed conversations about who was legally responsible.
Avoiding these conversations can help you preserve the sanctity of your claim in the long-run. If you were injured and want to discuss your prospects for getting recovery, or if you need help deciding what to do after a car accident, contact a for help. An attorney who is working for you will be able to evaluate your claim and help you seek the maximum compensation available to you.
2. Call the police.
One of the first steps in any car crash is to inform the authorities of the crash. This ensures that officers and first responders will respond to the crash and that you receive treatment for any injuries. You should provide as much detail to the police as possible about the other driver, including the vehicle they were driving and any witnesses to the crash.
3. Gather evidence.
Physical evidence is extremely important in accident and injury cases; many courts appreciate plaintiffs who can present them with physical proof and evidence to support their claim. After a car accident, call the police, even if the damage appears relatively minor; the responding police officer will likely draft a written accident report, which is important because it documents when, where, and how the accident happened. After the police creates the report, ask how you can obtain a copy later, when it becomes available.
After an accident, do your best to document the scene as soon as possible and as thoroughly as possible on your own, and avoid leaving out any essential details. The best way to document the scene of an accident is to take photos or videos with your mobile device. Taking notes and describing the accident in written form can also help you recall the specifics of the accident later on in the litigation process.
After you have confirmed that everyone is safe, exchange contact information with the other party, being sure to get the other driver’s name, phone number, address, driver’s license number, and insurance information. If there are any eyewitnesses, try to get similar information from them, for witnesses can play a key role in proving your claim if your case proceeds to litigation.
Also, keep a detailed list of any expenses related to the accident; expenses can include medical bills, repair orders, or lost wages. If you were injured in a car accident and are uncertain about what to keep and what to throw away, speak with an attorney who can help you decide exactly what to do after a car wreck.
4. Seek medical attention.
There are many things that a driver can do after an accident to help lessen the burden of the collision. Regardless of the type of accident, involved drivers should always first check to see if anyone is hurt, even in minor fender benders; always check yourself and your passengers first. After you have ensured that the people within your vehicle are safe, you can then move to check on the people in the other involved cars; if anyone is hurt, immediately call for medical assistance.
Car accidents can inflict many different types of injuries onto drivers and passengers alike. These injuries can vary in intensity, permanency, and frequency; some are invisible to the naked eye. Left untreated, some injuries can develop into life-threatening conditions or permanent disabilities.
Prompt treatment for any kind of injury is crucial, as many injuries can greatly affect the way your body moves and functions. If you or a loved one was injured in a car accident, it is imperative that you seek medical attention as soon as possible. A medical professional may be able to help you mitigate the overall effects of your injuries.
Tens of thousands of car accidents happen every year in the United States; in these, millions are injured. According to health and injury research, car accidents most commonly cause the following injuries:
- Back injuries
- Brain injuries
- Broken bones
- Disfiguring facial injuries
- Foot and ankle injuries
- Internal bleeding
- Knee injuries
- Neck injuries
- Post-traumatic stress disorder
- Road rash
- Shoulder injuries
- Soft tissue injuries
- Wrist and hand injuries
If you are involved in a car accident, it is imperative that you see a medical professional to evaluate your injuries. Even if you do not have any apparent injuries, you should still visit a healthcare professional to avoid developing subsequent injuries later on down the road. A healthcare professional will be able to scientifically inspect your body and assure you that you have no serious injuries.
In addition to the obvious health benefits, visiting a healthcare professional may also have some legal use as well. If visited, a doctor will create an official medical report of your injuries. If you later wish to pursue your legal options, you may be able to use these medical documents as proof to the court of your injuries.
It is important to your claim that you demonstrate that you have made a good faith effort to recover and address your injuries as quickly as possible. If you were injured in a car accident and need help gathering evidence that will strengthen your case for seeking compensation for your injuries, contact a personal injury lawyer; they will be able to give you reasonable advice for what to do after a wreck. Once hired, a knowledgeable car accident lawyer will be able to help you assess your injuries accurately and file a claim accordingly.
5. Speak with a car accident lawyer.
Dealing with the legal consequences of a car accident can be exhausting. Part of the reason why is insurance companies can be difficult to handle, especially if they do not want to compensate you completely for your damages. A collision attorney knows how to speak and negotiate with the insurance companies, potentially making the process go much more smoothly for all involved.
Winning compensation for losses incurred during an accident helps victims recover from an accident more quickly. If you are interested in potentially getting the highest compensation possible for your damages, an attorney may be able to help you. Once hired, a professional accident attorney will be able to help you determine fault, navigate the filing process, assess your damages, and negotiate with the involved insurance companies, taking your claim to court if a fair settlement with them cannot be reached.
CALL ZINDA LAW GROUP’S CAR ACCIDENT LAWYERS FOR FREE
Car accidents can cause substantial property damage and debilitating injuries, and victims may face hefty expenses and trauma as a result of their injuries. If you or a loved one was injured in a car accident, contact a personal injury attorney as soon as possible.
At Zinda Law Group, we have the knowledge and resources necessary to help you pursue the highest compensation possible. Our Zinda Law Group attorneys can provide personalized, confidential consultations about the specifics of your legal claim. Moreover, the sooner you contact our office, the better we may be able to serve you.
If you or a loved one sustained injuries in a car accident, remember these five things to do after a car accident and call Zinda Law Group at (800) 863-5312 for a free consultation with one of our experienced lawyers. You don’t owe us anything unless we win your case. That’s our No Win, No Fee Guarantee.
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