Handling The Aftermath of a Car Crash
If you’ve just been in a car accident, there are probably a dozen thoughts rushing through your head. After the initial shock, you will probably pull over, ask if everyone is ok, and look for signs of injury. But what is the next step? Do you call 911? Do you confront the other driver? Contact your insurance company? Here’s a simple step-by-step guide to follow after being involved in a motor vehicle crash.
7 Important Steps to Take After an Auto Collision
1. Call 911
If anyone involved in the accident is visibly injured or if there is damage to any vehicles, call for emergency services immediately. Even a seemingly minor fender-bender might pose a hazard to other motorists still on the road. Not all injuries are immediately visible. Let the professionals administer first aid. If you move someone, you may be personally liable for their injuries.
2. Seek Medical Attention
Regardless of how you feel immediately after an accident, you should seek medical attention that can help determine if you have an injury. Some injuries may take time to develop, and symptoms may not surface for days, but you want to make sure you have medical records stating that you went to a doctor and that you have your early diagnosis.
3. Watch For Signs of Fire
If any of the vehicles involved in the crash exhibit signs of fire, including heavy smoke, get away from the vicinity and warn others to do the same. A car or truck on fire could explode, causing additional injuries.
4. Wait for Emergency Vehicles to Arrive
You do not need to confront the other driver or get into an argument over whose fault the accident was. Wait for the police and other emergency workers to arrive.
5. Obtain a Police Report
Give your entire account of the event to the police. Make sure you provide as many details as possible. Ask if you can have a copy of the report. Having an official police report is crucial in liability disputes.
6. Exchange Information
If possible, exchange your information with the other driver. This includes insurance information and a driver’s license. You need to have this information to file a claim against the at-fault party with their insurance company. Most people exchange contact information with the other motorists then part ways if there are no apparent serious injuries. This is a mistake that could cost you heavily. You can’t be sure the other driver will report the accident to their insurance company or that the information they gave you is even factual.
7. Gather Information
Get the license plate number, make, and model of all vehicles involved in the crash. Check the police report to see that they have all drivers’ names and contact information. Record the date, time, and place of the collision. If you have a camera, you may also want to take pictures. The more information you have, the better your chances of pursuing a claim.
8. Contact a Car Accident Claim Lawyer
Insurance companies may try to deny your claim, especially if there are expensive medical bills. Even if you are sure the other driver is at fault, the auto insurance companies might not see it that way.
What Are The Most Common Causes of Car Accidents?
You can look on the news any given day and see some reports discussing an auto accident. Collisions frequently happen all over the United States, and the results can be disastrous depending on how severe the accident is. Accidents are caused by several factors, including but not limited to:
- Drunk driving
- Reckless driving
- Fatigued driving
- Distracted driving
- Vehicle maintenance problems
- Defective automobile parts
How to Get Help With a Car Accident Claim
To truly understand the details of your situation and what options you may have, reaching out to a legal professional can increase your chances of a favorable outcome. By retaining an attorney, you can better prepare for the process ahead and keep your expectations in line with what you may be able to do and recover. At Peterson & Associates, P.C., our lawyers are here to help you seek compensation and explain what the opposition may do to deny liability or the extent of your damages.
If you or someone you love was injured in a crash, call our Kansas City car accident attorneys at 816-888-8888. We take the time to examine your case and help you move forward in the most favorable manner possible.