After an accident there can be an overwhelming sense of confusion. This is understandable considering that you did not plan on this happening. There are several things to keep in mind whether it is a car accident, slip and fall or a dog bite. It may not be the fist thing that comes to mind because of the chaos of the situation, but in order to preserve your case, these are the best steps you can take.
Make Sure You are Okay
You will not be able to help anyone else or the situation if you are not okay. Make sure you able to move. If you are in pain or unable to move, stay where you are. If you have a cell phone, be sure to call the police and let them know you are injured. This way an ambulance can be sent to the accident scene and attend to your injuries.
Check on People in your Car
If you are fine and able to get around, check on any passengers in the car. Again, if someone is seriously injured or not responding, be sure to call the police right away so that it is known that medical attention is needed.
Move Your Car
If all is well with you and your passengers, move your car out of traffic. There are countless incidents where disabled car is left in the roadway and another car crashes into it.
Call the Police
Regardless of how minor or major an accident may seem; always call the police. You will want to document that the accident happened. This is important as the insurance company may question as to whether an accident even happened if the police were never called. In addition, the police officer will ask both parties what happened and track down any witnesses if there are any. This can be essential to a case when an at fault party changes their story or denies an accident ever happened.
- Get the responding officer’s information and a case number.
- Talk to the police and give them your side of the story.
- Take pictures of everything. Cars, intersection, other driver’s information, license plates.
- Talk to any witnesses in the area. Sometimes the police will skip over this.
- Look to see if there are any cameras in the area and let the police know. Follow up with these businesses immediately after you seek medical care.
Seek Medical Attention
Even if you think you are fine, it is important to get into the doctor to document any injuries that may come one. If you do not get in, the insurance companies will assume that you must not have been hurt because you did not seek ER treatment.
Contact an Attorney to Discuss Your Rights
Insurance companies are notorious for taking advantage of injured individuals immediately after the accident. Some will even drive out to your house with a release and a $1000.00 check. Many people will sign the release and collect a $1000.00 dollars. What tends to happen is that these people wake up a few days after and feel worse than immediately after the accident. Some even wind up having surgery later on down the road. Unfortunately, they have given up any compensation for the surgery.