No one likes being in a car accident, especially if it wasn’t their fault. Car accidents are all too common on our roads, with roughly 6 million accidents per year. Though these accidents are mostly nonfatal, they can still cause severe injuries and vehicle damage.
It’s unfortunately easy to find yourself involved in a car accident, it’s not so easy to know what to do next. There are, though, some key things you should do if you are caught in a car accident. These six steps will help you through exactly what you need to do after being in a car accident.
1. Stay at the Scene
First and foremost, check yourself over. Make sure you and anyone else in your vehicle are safe. Stop at the scene in the safest place possible, if your vehicle is moveable. Then, call the cops. It doesn’t matter at this point whether you fully understand who or what caused your accident, you still need to get the cops down to manage the scene. Whatever you do, don’t drive away. You will likely need the police’s help later down the line.
2. Take Photos
For both personal insurance and potential settlement reasons, you need to take evidence right away. If it is safe and you are well enough to do so, take as many photos as you can, as recommended by the personal injury law specialists over at Fleming Law who deal with these cases every day.
They say to “Photograph the damage to your car and the other driver’s vehicle. Take photos of the other car’s license plate. Photograph any visible skid marks.” Effectively, gather as much evidence on the day of the crash as humanly possible to help yourself later.
3. See the Doctor
It’s important to immediately get the medical help you require after an accident. Looking after yourself is vitally important, so get yourself checked over by medical professionals straight away. Don’t worry about insurance or medical bills, these will be dealt with later. Pay or claim for whatever you have to, as you will try to claim this all back later anyway.
Getting medical help can be key as evidence, too. If you do decide to build a legal case against another party involved in the crash, proving you were injured by them is important. Without medical bills and multiple doctor’s reports, this won’t be possible. So, get the help you need and get it all!
4. Inform Your Insurer
Many insurers require immediate notification of a crash. You may not be planning to claim the damages to your car from them, but regardless, you need to let them know. Your car insurance likely covers your medical bills, too. In the first instance at least, let them know and work with them. Proper cooperation throughout the process may help you claim better compensation from the other side at a later date.
5. Find a Lawyer
When dealing with car accidents or personal injuries, there’s a lot to think about. In fact, in this article alone you’ve already had to take a lot in! That’s why, at this point, it’s always best to reach out to a specialist lawyer. A specialist who has worked many years in the field of automobile accidents and personal injury law is the best choice for you.
These law firms have been dealing with cases like yours for many years, having all the expertise and experience to help you gain as much compensation as possible. The best part? You can usually meet them for free to discuss your case! And, they are likely to recover their costs from the opposition, meaning you won’t have to pay them along the way.
6. Build Your Case & Get a Settlement
Between you and your chosen legal team, it’s time to start building a case. Your lawyer will help collate your evidence from the scene with all other available evidence. In doing this they will talk to the police about statements gathered at the scene and reach out to other potential witnesses. They may also try to access any local CCTV or other imagery that could help build your case. Once a sufficiently strong case has been built, your lawyer will reach out to any opposition lawyers and insurance teams, with the aim of achieving the highest possible payout for you.
Following these six steps after a car accident will not only protect you physically but also protect your right to a settlement. If you do everything by the book, no one can ever complain or place blame on you. Remember, using a quality and experienced lawyer after following the other steps is key.