When a car crash occurs, the first few moments after impact are crucial for recovery. It is here that certain steps must be taken in order to receive compensation for any injury or property damage sustained during a car accident. If you have been involved in a car crash and think you might be entitled to some form of compensation, taking these 9 steps will help you to ensure that the car accident is reported and that you will receive any money that you may be entitled to.
#1: Write Down What Happened as Soon as Possible
Even if you feel fine after a car crash, it is important to at least write down what happened including where the impact was, whether or not anyone has been injured, and who was involved in the car crash, including license plate numbers. Do as much as you can to remember details as soon as possible after the accident occurs because this information will quickly become foggy as time goes on, especially if you have been injured.
#2: Call Your Insurance Company
If there has been an injury or damage to property, it is important that you call your insurance company as soon as possible after the accident. You will want to get help for any injuries received, but you should always be sure to report the car crash first in order to ensure that your insurance company covers these costs.
Calling your insurance company doesn’t mean you are admitting fault, and it is important that you say as much. You also do not need to give a statement to the other driver’s insurance company unless your policy requires it. However, if the accident has caused injuries or property damage, you must notify them of these damages.
#3: Contact a Lawyer
Got involved in a car accident? Make sure to speak to a lawyer. Do you know why it is important to speak to a lawyer if you have a car accident? Because they know what your legal rights are and how you can seek damages for the medical costs of injuries sustained in your accident. A lawyer will also be able to help you with any issues related to criminal charges that may come up as a result of your accident.
Another benefit is that a lawyer will take care of all the paperwork that is involved with your accident. You can just sit back and let them do their job while you heal from any injuries that have been suffered in the accident.
#4: Take Photos of Your Injuries
As soon as possible after the car accident, take photos of your injuries. If you are able to speak with an attorney right away, they will likely ask for these photos so that they can best determine if there is a case to be made or not. Such photos can include those of your face, your neck, and those that show the injuries from a few different angles.
Take photos of the car as well. These should be taken from all angles to best give an idea about what happened during the accident. If there is damage to other vehicles involved in the accident, make sure to take photos of that as well.
#5: Call the Police
If you are in an accident that involves property damage, always seek help from professionals. Call the police to document what happened and get estimates for repairs. When you call the police, have a passenger or another witness with you who can give their own account of the incident.
An unfortunate reality is that some people will try to take advantage of those involved in an accident by offering claims services for a fee. If you are in a car crash, always call the police.
#6: Gather Information
Collect insurance information, contact numbers, and policy details. The police will give you a report # so your insurance company can properly investigate your claim. Also, ask for witnesses’ names and phone numbers. Write down the names, phone numbers, and statements of witnesses while their memories are fresh.
Witnesses may disagree with your version of events, though, so don’t put too much faith in them. Also get the contact information of anyone else who was involved in the accident (police officers, people involved in another accident that happened around the same time, etc.).
#7: Document Symptoms and Assess Injuries
Contact your insurance company ASAP after a car crash. If you wait to contact them, they may not reimburse you for all of your medical expenses. The sooner you contact them, the better! Be sure to note information about any injuries you suffered in the crash and how you are feeling now. Presenting this information in a timely manner will save you a lot of time and stress down the road.
#8: Go to see your doctor or health care professional
If you have been involved in a car crash, it is important that you go to see your doctor or healthcare professional right away. Your injuries may need medical attention, even if they do not appear to be serious. Your doctor can check your injuries out and make sure you are okay. If you are not, they may help provide treatment to ensure that you heal properly without further injury or complications.
#9: Do Not Sign Anything
Many times after a car crash, insurance companies will present you with paperwork to sign. We know this is hard to hear, but do not sign anything without calling your lawyer first. If you are injured, it can be hard for you to focus on what the papers say and what your next steps should be.
It is important to be careful with what you sign after a car crash, which is why you should not sign anything at the scene of the accident. It may feel like just more paperwork that you can deal with later, but this simple act could affect your legal rights and help determine how much money you receive in compensation. If you are ever in doubt, do not sign anything.
Now that you know these 9 steps after a car crash, it is time to take your next step and speak with an attorney who can help protect your rights and best guide you through this difficult process.