Car accidents often result in serious injuries that can ruin and even take people’s lives. If you’re involved in an accident, there are some steps you can take immediately to help protect your personal and financial health. If your accident was caused by someone else, they should be held accountable for what they’ve done and for the pain and damages you have suffered. Here are five things to do immediately after a car accident:
#1 Call the Police Never wait to have a dialog with the other driver. If you’re in a serious car accident, not only do the police need to come but also EMTs to assess your injuries on the scene. The police are necessary to investigate who’s at fault for the accident. This will be important later when fighting for compensation for your injuries. In any case, it is a legal requirement that any accident be reported to the police. Don’t take any chances – dial 911!
#2 Get Medical Care After getting the police on scene, the next step is to get medical attention for your injuries and the injuries of anyone riding with you. If you wait to do this, not only can your recovery be compromised, so can your chance of a compensation claim for your injuries suffered. A lack of immediate medical attention can be used as ammunition by the other driver’s insurance company as proof that you weren’t seriously injured.
#3 Gather Evidence If you decide to pursue a claim for the injuries and pain you suffered, you’ll need as much evidence as possible. Take photos of the scene of the accident before the vehicles are moved. Since most of us now carry smart phones, it’s easy enough to take photos on site. If you are too injured or shaken up to take photos, get a passenger or bystander to do it for you. This can be very important later.
#4 Find Witnesses In addition to the photos and other evidence, another valuable tool in substantiating your claim that the other driver was at fault are eyewitness statements. These can come from passengers in your vehicle, but will carry more weight if they are from third parties such as pedestrian bystanders or drivers of other vehicles that stopped to help. Get their contact information and if you’re feeling up to it, record a quick video of their statement on your phone.
#5 Get Legal Representation As soon as possible after an accident, even while you’re still recuperating, it’s critical that you get a legal representative to advocate for you and protect you from insurance company tricks. Insurance adjusters may try to take statements from you while you’re at the hospital or at home recuperating where you may be medicated or not in the frame of mind to be cautious. They may offer you papers to sign that are essentially waivers of your right to compensation. Getting an attorney on your side will shut all this down and prevent them from taking your rights.
Get Help Now
If you have been seriously hurt in a car accident that was someone else’s fault, you may be able to make a compensation claim for your medical bills, lost wages, pain and suffering and any long term effects of your accident. Contact the law office of Nelson C. Barry to discuss your accident and get advice on making a claim. Call (415) 587-0550 for a free consultation today!