7 Steps You Should Take After a Car Wreck
No matter how careful you are on the road, you can still end up in a car wreck. Conditions can be unpredictable. Collisions happen fast.
When an automobile accident occurs, it’s jarring, nerve-wracking, chaotic and confusing.
To get back to normalcy – and protect your interests in the process – follow these seven steps after a crash:
1) CONTACT LAW ENFORCEMENT
Maybe your accident seems small. You think it’s best not to bother police. Exchanging information with the other driver is enough.
This could be a mistake. If you can move your car, pull over to the side of the road. Call 911 to report the wreck.
You might have injuries that aren’t immediately apparent. Your vehicle may have more damage than is obvious.
By reporting the accident, you’re creating an official record documented by a neutral party (the police.) Be sure to get a copy of the police report.
And of course, if anybody is obviously hurt, the first priority is getting them help, so call right away.
2) TAKE CARE OF THE INSURANCE
You will need to exchange insurance information with the driver of the other vehicle.
If you don’t have your insurance card in your vehicle or wallet, remember that you may be able to access the necessary information on a smartphone.
You’ll also need to contact your own insurance company promptly to report the accident.
3) STICK TO THE FACTS
EVEN IF YOU THINK YOU BEAR SOME FAULT FOR THE ACCIDENT, BE CAREFUL ABOUT WHAT YOU SAY TO THE OTHER DRIVER OR TO POLICE AT THE SCENE. DON’T ADMIT FAULT.
Stick to the facts without offering an opinion about what happened.
4) DOCUMENT THE SCENE
If you have the presence of mind and are physically able, documenting the car wreck right away can be useful.
Take photos with a smartphone if you can. Talk to any eyewitnesses in the area and write down their contact information.
These steps can strengthen your claim for compensation.
5) SEEK MEDICAL ATTENTION
Of course, you might need medical attention immediately if you’re obviously hurt.
Whether it’s on the scene or with doctor visits soon after, documentation that you sought treatment for injuries sustained during a collision is an important part of your case.
This can affect the amount of compensation you ultimately receive.
6) EXERCISE CAUTION WITH SOCIAL MEDIA
Be careful about posting anything on social media after your accident.
It can be tempting to tell your friends or followers about the crash or to post pictures or videos. But you could hurt your claim later on.
Social media posts are easily misconstrued. The best course is to refrain from using social media entirely until your personal injury case is settled.
7) BE CAREFUL WITH QUICK SETTLEMENTS
After your accident, the other insurance company may make you a settlement offer to pay for your medical expenses and damage to your vehicle.
It can be tempting to accept it and get the whole ordeal over with. But that might not be what’s best for you.
The insurance company and adjusters have one goal in mind: settling claims for as little money as possible.
If you hire your own personal injury attorney, you’ll have an experienced advocate in your corner, fighting for what’s in your best interests.
CONTACT A PERSONAL INJURY ATTORNEY AT LEVINE BENJAMIN
If you or someone you love was injured in an auto accident, it’s important to protect your rights under the law.
Don’t simply accept an insurance company’s initial offer. Remember that the insurance company has its interests in mind, not yours.
Contacting an experienced personal injury lawyer at Levine Benjamin can make a difference in the outcome of your case. We’ve been helping people just like you get the compensation they’re entitled to since 1964. We may be able to help you, too.
Call today to schedule a free initial consultation.