Accidents can be heartbreaking and difficult to deal with. Each year more than 400,000 road accidents involve large vehicles and trucks. Smaller car accidents even higher. When an accident happens, you may find that you suffered injuries, lost wages, and a variety of other damages. You may need a personal injury attorney who will file a lawsuit and get you compensated for the medical bills, pain and suffering, and lost wages.
Here are essential steps to take when you are involved in an accident:
Stay at the crash scene
In most states, when you are involved in an accident, and you leave the scene, it is called a hit and run. You need to stay at the scene of the crime and wait for the ambulance and authorities to arrive. If you need to move the car, move it off the road to a safe place. However, if this is not necessary, it is best to leave the car exactly where it was at the time of the accident. Keeping the vehicles at the crash site will help the police officers when they arrive so they can get a better understanding of how the accident occurred. It will also prove your innocence and show the wreckage and damages that occurred during the accident.
Call 911 immediately if there are injuries. Accidents can lead to severe injury and sometimes even fatalities. Your safety is the highest priority. Call the emergency services by dialing 9-1-1. Often dispatch will send both police and an ambulance. The ambulance will take the injured to the nearest hospital. The police will gather eyewitness accounts and write the accident report. This simple action will help you in the short term when you need medical assistance. It will also help you later when your attorney files claims.
Take pictures, videos, and audio recordings
Take pictures of the damaged vehicles and the intersections. You also need to take images of significant landmarks. Pay particular attention to the skid marks and other details that help to tell the story of precisely what happened. If you can take videos, it is even better. You do not need a professional camera. Your phone’s camera will suffice. Your camera will be a big help because you may not have an opportunity to write down detailed information, especially if it is dark. The audio recordings will also be a big help. You can record yourself and everything you saw and heard right before the accident.
Pictures and audio recordings are crucial. When details are changed or forgotten, you will have a way to remind everyone what happened at the time. In some cases, car accident lawsuits can take months or longer if part of the evidence is missing. You may have to refer to your recordings for your legal action. Your attorney will also take time to review the footage and statements to find the most appropriate cause of action. This way, they will know what happened, especially if the crash occurred where there are no CCTV cameras.
Exchange information with other drivers involved
You need to get all the necessary information from the drivers involved. If the other drivers ask, you need to give them all your essential information. Remember that the other drivers will also feel the need to collect data and evidence just like you are. The most important information to get is:
- Phone number
- Driver’s license number
- License plate number
- Insurance carrier
- Name of the insurance agent
- Insurance policy number
Hold off before making statements about any aspect of the crash
There is a common saying that goes, ‘whatever you do and say is your fault.’ You need to remain silent until you have spoken to your attorney about what happened. A calm state of mind away from the scene of the accident will give you more perspective. You will be able to make a statement with calmness and not when your adrenaline is high, making you vulnerable to mistakes.
Have your case looked over by a personal injury attorney
Of course, part of the things to do after an accident should be looking for a great lawyer. If you have been in an accident, you need a great lawyer who is experienced and knowledgeable about these types of cases. Insurance companies spend a lot of time and money protecting themselves and customers from any lawsuit. Going it alone against these large companies is like doing surgery on yourself. You will not win and will spend a lot more time making decisions that a lawyer would have done for you.
Follow your doctor’s medical advice and attend all the doctors’ appointments.
When you are dealing with injuries from your car accident, you must follow your doctor’s recommendations. You must care for your health. Doing this is not only crucial for you, but it is also essential for your defense attorney. So make sure that you go to all of your doctor appointments. Not following the advice of your physician will make a claim backfire. It may make it seem like you are not hurt. Keep all the records of payments and medical visits. These records are part of the evidence to support your claim and help you win the case.
There is a statute of limitations
There is a deadline for filing a lawsuit for accidents. If you miss the deadline, you may lose the opportunity to restore justice and get the compensation you deserve for medical expenses, pain, and suffering and missed work. Never put off legal action.