The faster you act after a car accident, the more money you can save or secure for any damages.
In the moments after an auto collision, you are likely to be quite flustered and unsure of what to do. Although it can be difficult to collect yourself after the crash, it is critical that you calm yourself and take action to protect your rights.
The steps to take immediately after a serious car accident are essential to ensuring you receive the compensation you need to fund your medical treatment and repairs.
Critical Steps to Take After a Car Accident
As the victim of a car accident, the burden of proof falls on you. So, if you incurred any sort of damage in the collision, you need to gather as much evidence as possible to demonstrate the other driver’s liability.
By following these steps, you will collect the evidence necessary to not only show the other party’s negligence, but the amount of compensation owed to you.
1. Contact law enforcement
The responding officer will fit out a police report, detailing all events surrounding the accident. They will record all environmental factors, in addition to the location and speed of the crash. The officers will collect statements from each affected party, and may include their perspective on possible liability.
2. Document all evidence from the crash site
Write down the details of all events that transpired before and during the collision. Include photos and videos in your documentation.
3. Collect information from everyone involved
Record the name, license number, phone number, and address of the other drivers and passengers. Save their insurance information as well.
4. Visit a medical professional
Regardless of whether you believe you were hurt in the crash, it is vital that you seek medical treatment. Many car accident injuries do not present symptoms in the first few hours, and in some cases, even days. Your physician can alert you to any abnormalities in your health, and you can save the medical documentation to strengthen your claim.
5. Report the crash to your insurance company
Inform your insurer of the crash as soon as possible. Waiting too long after the incident could hurt your credibility and may even result in a rejection of your claim.
6. Call the Department of Motor Vehicles
Depending on the monetary value of the damages you incurred in the crash, you may be required to report the accident to the DMV. There is only a limited time for this, so check your state laws and the required reporting period. (Failure to report to the DMV could result in license suspension.)
Contact a Car Accident Lawyer
Once you’ve taken these fundamental steps, it’s time to secure legal representation for your case. The litigation process following an auto collision can be overwhelming, but an experienced lawyer can improve your chances of securing compensation and holding the negligent driver accountable.
Hiring a lawyer is the best way to ensure that you have a strong case against the negligent driver. If they were distracted while behind the wheel or engaging in other reckless behaviors, your lawyer can uncover critical evidence that proves their liability and clears you of any fault.
A lawyer can secure phone records in the case of texting and driving accidents, footage from dashcams or traffic and surveillance cameras, and much more, all to represent your case as accurately as possible. To initiate your claim, contact a lawyer today.