Car accidents are traumatizing experiences, and when injuries are involved, the situation becomes even more stressful. It is crucial to know what steps to take immediately following an accident to protect your health, well-being and legal rights.
Assess your injuries
The priority after a car accident is self-assessment for any injuries or pain. Even if you feel fine initially, certain injuries may not manifest until later.
Common delayed-onset injuries include whiplash and soft tissue damage, which are serious and should be treated immediately.
Seek medical attention
Getting professional medical help is vital whether your injuries are apparent or not. Call 911 at the scene of the accident and make sure you follow up with a doctor as soon as possible after the accident.
A thorough examination by a healthcare professional will identify any hidden injuries and document them for insurance purposes.
While you wait for medical attention, which is the most important thing you must get, and if you feel well enough to do so, gather as much information about the accident scene as possible, including information about the people involved.
It is best for you not to say anything about the accident to any of the people involved in the accident.
Take photos of the crash site from different angles, noting vehicle positions and any visible damages or skid marks on the road surface. In addition, collect contact details of all parties involved in the accident as well as any witnesses present at the scene.
File an accident report
Contact law enforcement authorities and report the accident accurately while providing all relevant details of what transpired leading up to and during the collision.
Obtain a copy of the official report; it will serve as valuable evidence when dealing with insurance companies or potential legal proceedings.
Notify your insurance company
Promptly inform your insurance company about the accident regardless of who was at fault. Most insurance policies require notification within a specified timeframe following an accident.
Provide them with the necessary details and cooperate fully throughout the claims process.
Consult a personal injury attorney
If you suffered injuries in a car accident, it is wise to talk with a personal injury attorney who is familiar with motor vehicle accidents.
They can guide you through the legal process, ensure your rights are protected and help maximize any potential compensation for medical expenses, lost wages, pain and suffering.