The moments following a car accident are shocking and frightening, yet these post accident initial moments are also some of the most important in maximizing your chances of recovering financial compensation 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 is required to prove negligence to win an auto injury case. 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 capable of doing so, ensure you take the following steps following an auto accident:
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Whether the accident is serious or minor, calling the police is important. Not only will the officers keep the accident scene safe, but they will draft 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 to ensure you have access to the information collected at the accident scene.
While apologizing can be seen as the right thing to do, it is important to avoid stating an apology 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 taking the following precautions to maintain safety on the 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 necessary information from the accident scene is critical for the investigation of the auto accident. Some main categories of information to collect include contact and insurance information from all drivers involved in the accident, witness contact information from anyone on the scene, and information from the police that were on the scene. Specific information to collect is listed in the section below.
Pictures and videos allow for documentation of the accident scene, which will be useful as the accident is investigated. This media might even be utilized as evidence. Below is a list suggested pictures to take while on 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 area where the accident occurred (landmarks, street signs, road signals, and surrounding addresses)
Contributing accident scene conditions (poor weather and deteriorated road conditions)
Even if you do not immediately feel injured, scheduling a medical check-up is important step following your accident. Injuries might not surface until later, so being checked by a doctor allows you to be aware of those injuries that are not initially apparent. A medical exam will also offer you an official diagnosis from a professional and document all injuries as the accident investigation continues.
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 consultation with a personal injury lawyer. This will help you understand the legalities surrounding your accident. A lawyer will guide you through the legal process efficiently and communicate with the insurance companies, which do not always have your best interests in mind. If you’re looking to win maximum compensation for your accident, a personal injury attorney maximizes that opportunity!
By being proactive and diligent immediately following an accident, you can gather important evidence that will increase your chances of receiving compensation for your damages. At Spear Greenfield, our attorneys understand the hardships you are facing following an auto accident. We will ensure you receive the proper medical treatments and guide you through the legal process. To learn more about the potential legal options following an auto accident, including whether partnering with a personal injury attorney is recommended for your situation, please click on the button below for a step by step guide.
Following an accident, it might help discussing the incident with a personal injury attorney, especially if this is your first accident, because 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 compensation! Our initial legal consultations are free and carry no obligations or pressure, so please feel free to 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!