Regardless of fault, being involved in a car accident is often a traumatic experience both emotionally and physically. Knowing what to do in the aftermath can be confusing and disorienting. Let’s say you were injured in a crash that wasn’t your fault. Below are some of the crucial steps you should take to protect yourself immediately after the accident.
Gather witness information. If you’re physically able to, do your best to ask pedestrians or anyone that lives near the accident if they saw the crash take place. These witnesses will be important for your case down the line should you decide to file a claim. If a police report was made for the accident, it will also likely contain valuable witness information.
Take pictures. Nowadays, almost everyone has a camera on their cell phone. Use yours and take pictures of everything about the auto accident scene. For most car crashes, the police won’t take photos. Make sure you document the damage on the vehicles and their positions in relation to one another. Be sure to photograph yourself or any of your fellow passengers. If you have swelling, bleeding, or another visible injury, document it as soon as physically able.
Obtain the police report. In most accidents, especially those with injuries, the police will take a report. You want to get your hands on it as soon as possible. Reports are generally available just a day or two after the accident. Make sure to call your local police station as request a copy. If you decide to see an auto injury attorney, he or she will surely want to see the report.
Go to the hospital. This should go without saying, but get medical attention as soon as you can. If you’re confident you will be seeking an injury claim from the car accident, the sooner your injuries are diagnosed by a doctor, the better. If you wait before going to the doctor or the emergency room, insurance companies will use that delay to downplay your injury claim if you decide to make one.
If you’re injured in a car accident at no fault of your own, make sure you’re equipped with as much information as possible. Having your accident and medical records ready to go will ensure the best possible outcome for you when you file a claim with your insurance company, or the party at fault. In our next post, we’ll discuss the steps you need to take when securing the right auto accident attorney.