Being involved in a motor vehicle accident can leave you feeling stunned and shaken. Knowing what to do after a car crash can make the situation less stressful and allow you to collect valuable evidence that may be needed should you decide to file a personal injury claim. Our auto accident attorneys at Moore Law Firm provide some tips on how to stay levelheaded, take care of yourself, and safeguard your rights after a motor vehicle collision.
Stop And Catch Your Breath
Panicking after you’ve been involved in an accident can make the situation more difficult for everyone and keep you from thinking clearly. Take a breath, stay calm, and check on others in the car to see if they’re injured. Administer first aid if needed. If you’re very seriously injured and can’t move, call 911 and wait for first responders.
Move Away From Danger
If you’re in a dangerous position on the road, move your car out of the way of traffic if possible. Turn off the engine and put your car in park. If you have to leave your car where it is, turn on your hazards and safely exit the vehicle, making sure to look for oncoming traffic before you get out. If it’s safe and you have them, put flares out to warn other motorists of the accident.
If you haven’t already, call 911 or local law enforcement. Even if an accident seems minor, a police report is valuable evidence that can back up your insurance claim. While you’re waiting for first responders, check on those in other vehicles who may be injured. When you speak to officers be honest about what happened, but do not admit fault. Getting police officers’ names and badge numbers can also be helpful if you can’t obtain a copy of the police report at the scene.
Write down notes or use your phone’s voice recorder to document everything you remember about how the accident happened. Collect the names and contact information of other drivers, passengers, and witnesses. Write down license plate numbers and gather insurance and driver’s license information from other motorists involved in the accident.
Document The Scene
Use your smartphone camera to take photos and video of the scene, vehicle damage, and your injuries. Make sure to shoot from several different angles if possible. You’ll want to get photos of any skid marks, damaged road signs or utility poles. The more documentation you get, the better it will be for a potential personal injury claim, so don’t be shy about taking as many photos as needed.
Seek Medical Attention
If an ambulance shows up at the scene, getting checked out by paramedics is always a good idea. Even if you believe you haven’t suffered a serious injury, following up at the ER or with a physician is important as well – many injuries don’t appear until days or even weeks later. You may be in shock immediately following an accident, which can prevent you from feeling the pain of whiplash, spinal injury, bruises, internal injuries, or broken bones.
Symptoms of concussion and serious conditions like traumatic brain injury can also be delayed. If you sustained a blow to the head, diagnostic tests such as CT scans and MRIs can detect skull fractures, bleeding, and damage to the brain. Seeking medical treatment not only ensures you receive the care you need, health care records provide solid documentation of any injuries you may have suffered. These records are critical when filing an auto accident claim.
Contact Your Insurance Company
Contacting your insurance company to report an accident is important, but it’s also vital to protect your rights. Answer their questions honestly, but don’t volunteer any extra information before speaking to an attorney. Do not give a recorded statement to any insurance adjusters, sign anything, or accept a settlement without seeking the counsel of a qualified auto accident lawyer. If you have a valid personal injury claim, going forward your attorney will handle all communications with all involved parties, including insurance companies and their lawyers.
Call An Auto Accident Attorney
Contacting an experienced personal injury attorney after an accident is never a losing proposition. Consultations are free, even if we determine that going forward with a claim is not viable. We’re happy to listen to your story, answer any questions or address any concerns you may have, and give you candid legal advice on how to proceed. When handling car accident claims, our lawyers work on a contingency basis, which means you won’t incur any up-front costs and we don’t collect attorney fees unless we obtain compensation in your case.
How Our Auto Accident Lawyers Can Help
Dealing with mounting medical bills, lost time from work, and recovering from serious injuries can be overwhelming. Our team takes the weight off your shoulders and fights to ensure your rights and interests are protected. Many of our clients don’t realize that they may face costly long-term medical expenses, pain and suffering, and possible financial hardship after an auto accident. Our lawyers understand how to accurately calculate the full scope of your damages and work to recover the maximum compensation you need and deserve. Insurance companies often try to deny or devalue personal injury claims. Our auto accident attorneys are well-versed in the underhanded tactics they employ to try and pay as little as possible. If more than one party is responsible for your injuries or the loss of a loved one, we pursue all possible sources of compensation. Since 1985, we have helped more than 12,000 clients pursue compensation for their losses and have recovered millions of dollars in damages in all types of personal injury cases.
Be Prepared For An Auto Accident
Even the most cautious drivers can be involved in motor vehicle accidents, but there are some things you can do to prepare yourself and mitigate stress if an accident occurs.
- Fully charge your cell phone before hitting the road
- Keep important documents like your registration, insurance card, and copy of your driver’s license in the glove compartment or center console of your car.
- Pack a safety kit that includes a blanket, water, small first aid kit, and flares (this is also helpful in case you get stranded due to a breakdown or inclement weather
- Put away or secure any loose items in your vehicle to keep them from flying around and causing injury in the event of an accident
- Always wear your seatbelt
These small steps can make life easier if your vehicle breaks down, you’re involved in an accident, or you encounter an emergency on the road.
Contact Our Auto Accident Attorneys To Learn More
At Moore Law Firm, our attorneys believe that educating our clients about how to protect their interests is critical to helping them understand their rights under the law. Although recovering maximum compensation is our ultimate goal in every case, caring for our clients and the families we serve is the most gratifying part of our jobs. To learn more about how we can help if you’ve been injured, call us today at 251-445-7602 or contact us online to schedule a free consultation.