Even though car accidents occur what seems like all the time, they can still be very overwhelming for those involved. In the aftermath, it may be difficult to determine what steps to take next; especially if there has been even a minor injury. Reading through these below tips, compiled by a trusted DC car accident lawyer, may help you stay calm and alleviate some of the stress commonly felt after an accident:
- Seek Medical Assistance
One of the most important steps is to ensure that you and the other people involved are safe; so you should call the emergency number as soon as possible. Some people refuse medical attention at the scene of the accident because they do not have any visible injuries, but this may not be such a good idea. You could have injuries that are less apparent, whose symptoms are being masked by adrenaline. Internal bleeding, concussions, and back/neck injuries are all common, costly injuries that may not be readily apparent immediately following an accident.
- Call Your Insurance Company
Making sure that your accident is filed as soon as possible is an important part of the process. Generally, people who are involved in accidents exchange insurance information. Paying the full cost of the damage out-of-pocket is financially challenging for most individuals, so you want to have the proper insurance to cover you. If, for example, the accident was not your fault, the other person’s insurance company should take care of the damage; however, this point is often disputed and may require the assistance of a personal injury lawyer to help get the compensation you deserve.
- Maintain Accurate Details
Contact the police as soon as you can; in doing so, a police report of the accident should be filed. You should also work to maintain your own details. Snapping photos of the scene can help if you take a case to court later. Also, as time goes on, your memory of the accident will likely begin to fade. Write down as much information as you can as soon after the accident as possible. This may help provide clear details when your counsel assess the case.
- Start Tracking Expenses
Many personal injury claims result from the necessity to recuperate compensation to meet the expense of all of the resulting damages. Having receipts and records of all of the costs associated with your accident helps your attorney establish the level of compensation you are owed.
- Avoid Discussions of the Accident
Personal discussions of your claim can skew from reality. Opinions and conjecture can warp the facts of the case, and could potentially harm your claim. Avoid discussing your case with anyone other than your attorney. If you must, make sure you stick to the facts of what happened. Avoid interjecting any personal opinion on liability or who was at fault.
Don’t wait until you are in an accident to start figuring out what to do. Instead, keep a list of steps to follow in your car so that you feel less overwhelmed, as well as to the contact information of your trusted car accident attorney. Contacting a legal professional in the wake of an accident may be an important first step to getting the compensation you deserve.
Thanks to our friends and co-contributors at Cohen & Cohen, P.C. for their added insight into what to do after an accident.