The moments following a car accident are shocking and frightening, but these initial moments are also some of the most important in maximizing your chances of being paid damages in a future auto injury claim. This early time frame is a brief window for you to collect documentation, proof, and witnesses from the accident scene. This collection of evidence is important because the injured party has to prove negligence to win an vehicle injury case. This means the evidence must show that the individual’s injuries were directly caused by the negligent actions of the driver. As long as you are physically able, ensure you take the following steps after an auto accident:
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Calling the police is important, even if an accident is minor. Not only will the officers keep the accident scene safe, but they will write an official police report, take witness statements, and conduct necessary chemical tests. Collect the officer’s name, contact information, and a police report ID number for access to the information collected at the accident scene.
It is important to avoid apologizing following an accident. Apologies can be viewed as an admission of fault for the incident. Instead, simply be polite and contact the proper emergency services.
Immediately following an accident, it is important to maintain a safe accident scene.
Turn on hazard lights and set up cones, warning signs, and flares.
Move all the involved accident vehicles out of the flow of traffic.
Do not move an unconscious person unless their life is in danger.
Collecting information from involved parties, witnesses, and police on the accident scene is important for the investigation following. Some important information to collect are:
Contact and insurance information from all drivers involved in the accident
Witness contact information from anyone on the scene
Information from the police that were on the scene.
Specific information to collect is listed in the section below.
Pictures and videos will document the accident scene and will be useful in the accident investigation. This media might even be utilized as evidence. Below is a list suggested pictures to take at the accident site.
All cars involved in the accident, including license plates, vehicle positions, and all damage to the vehicles.
All the drivers involved that were at the accident scene.
Any accident debris (broken glass, skid marks, bloodstains, surrounding property damage, and deployed airbags.)
Location markers to document the accident location (landmarks, street signs, road signals, and surrounding addresses)
Contributing accident scene conditions (poor weather and deteriorated road conditions)
Even if you feel fine, scheduling a medical check-up is important step following your accident. Injuries might not surface until later. Being checked by a doctor makes you aware of injuries that are not immediately apparent. A medical exam will also offer you an official diagnosis from a professional and document all injuries for the accident investigation.
When speaking with your insurance agent, record the claim number. Also ask your agent about rental car options, and how repairs will be handled. Avoid making any agreements or signing any insurance documentation until speaking with a personal injury attorney.
After an accident, schedule a meeting with a personal injury lawyer. This will help you understand your legal rights after an accident. A lawyer will guide you through the legal process and communicate with the insurance companies. Insurance companies may not always have your best interests in mind. If you’re looking to win maximum compensation for your accident, a personal injury attorney increases that opportunity!
As mentioned above, it is important to collect information from the accident scene. If you are physically able to, below is some of the necessary information to gather following an accident.
Contact info from all drivers involved in the accident
Insurance info from all drivers involved in the accident
Contact info from witnesses at the accident scene
Contact info from police officers onsite
Police report information from the accident scene
Details about each vehicle involved in the accident
Other drivers involved in the accident will be collecting this same information. When asked, only provide the information on your proof-of-insurance card to the other parties.
The policyholder’s name
Your insurance company’s name
The policy number
Your agent’s name
Your agent’s contact info
Increase the Chances of Winning Your Auto Accident Claim
Not only is the time immediately following the accident important, but the days and weeks after an auto accident are critical! Failing to follow the important steps during those hours, days, and weeks following can cost your money. Consulting with a personal injury attorney immediately following a car accident ensures you are properly guided through the post accident process and requirements.
Spear Greenfield offers a free consultation, which allows our legal team to advise you. Our team of attorneys have over 200 years of combined experience with auto accident cases, so call us today to allow that experience to work for you.
In the days after a vehicle accident, it is important to identify all the damages caused by the accident, including medical, property, and lost wages. Speaking with professionals, such as a Spear Greenfield auto accident attorney, will ensure you do not settle prematurely or sell yourself short.
Visit your family doctor in the days and weeks after.
Do not accept or sign any agreements from insurance companies or involved parties.
Speak with a personal injury lawyer at Spear Greenfield to evaluate the strength of your injury case.
Guiding You Through the Auto Accident Legal Process
At Spear Greenfield, our attorneys understand the hardships you are facing after an auto accident. We will ensure you receive the proper medical treatments and guide you through the legal process. To learn more about your legal options and whether partnering with a personal injury attorney is recommended for your accident, please click on the button below for a step by step guide.
Following an accident, it might help discussing your situation with a personal injury attorney, especially if this is your first accident. A lawyer can provide you with additional legal insight. At Spear Greenfield, we are here to represent your best interests, fight for your justice, and earn you maximum payout! Our initial legal consultations are free and carry no pressure, so please schedule an appointment. There is nothing to lose and in the worst case scenario, you will leave our office with more information than you initially had!