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 auto 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
Wtness 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!
By following these steps immediately after an accident, you can gather important evidence that will increase your chances of receiving pay out for your damages. 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!