You can do everything possible to avoid a car accident but the truth is that they happen every day. It is normal for a person involved in an accident to feel overwhelmed, confused, and scared. At The Law Offices of Larry H. Parker we are always here to answer your legal questions. Today we are also going to cover the ten steps you should take after a car accident.
Assess everyone’s safety
Inform the police
Exchange contact information with all relevant parties
Talk to any witnesses
Talk to your insurance company
Get continuing medical care
Do not sign a settlement offer
Contact a personal injury attorney
This may seem obvious, but if you leave the scene of the accident you have committed a crime – even if you go back. If someone was seriously injured or killed, you could face jail time for leaving the scene. There is of course one exception: If you or someone you are responsible for has a life-threatening injury.
Check out the other driver and any passengers involved in the accident. Call for emergency medical services if it seems necessary. Do not move anyone unless they are in danger.
If there is damage to property, any level of physical injury, or a fatality, then you must call the police. They will then file a police report which you will need a copy of.
A police report typically includes the names and contact people of those involved in the accident but it is wise to get the information for yourself as well.
Ask any witnesses what exactly they saw and get as much information as you can. This includes their names and phone numbers.
If possible, get pictures of the damage and the scene of the accident. If there are tire marks or obstacles, take pictures of those as well. Similarly document your own injuries.
Your insurance company must be informed of the accident with a certain timeframe, the specifics of which will depend on your particular policy. Be honest with them when you describe your accident.
If your doctor has requested you to continue to get treatment then you should do so. Keep track of all appointments and treatments. This will be necessary in your personal injury case.
You may get an insurance settlement offer from the insurance company right away. Do not sign it. It is common for an injury to not be fully clear for some time after an accident. You may need to speak to other doctors before a full assessment can be made. Once you sign that settlement you will lose all right to sue the at-fault party.
You can reach out to The Law Offices of Larry H. Parker at 800-333-0000 for a free legal consultation. We will assess everything that’s happened so far and give advice on how to proceed.