This guest post is from Chaleigh Glass. Chaleigh is a freelance writer and photographer who lives in the amazing city of New York. When she isn’t writing Chaleigh loves to travel and explore all that the big city has to offer.
Your vision is blurry and your mind is in a free-fall. While you can’t see anything, you can hear tires screeching, people yelling, and car doors being slammed. You finally come to and realize that you have been in a serious car accident. There is shattered glass covering the inside of your car, and you can feel that you have a small cut on your forehead. So what do you do now? Most people make a large number of different mistakes when they get into an accident, most of which put them in physical, financial, or legal danger. Here is a quick look at five of the things that you should be doing after any accident in order to protect yourself in every possible way.
1. Stay in Your Vehicle!
The biggest mistake that almost everyone makes when they get into an accident is that they rush out of their vehicle. Yes, in some instances you will want to get out of your vehicle as quickly as possible, but in most cases your damaged car will still be the safest location for you and your loved ones. Just because you are in an accident doesn’t mean that everyone else has come to a stop around you. There can still be vehicles moving quickly, and it is possible that there are still going to be further crashes and accidents. In order to protect yourself, keep your seat-belt on and stay inside the protection that your vehicle offer. Wait for the authorities to come and secure the area before you get out, unless there is a pressing and immediate reason for you to get away from the car.
2. Document Everything
Documenting your injuries and losses is absolutely essential after an accident. You will want to obtain all of the information that you possibly can, since this will help your attorney to build a case that works in your favor. Take pictures of the scene right away. Also, take pictures of any injuries immediately, and over time. If you have a phone, you will not only want to take pictures, but it can also be a good idea to take videos as well. Document everything that you possibly can, even if it may seem silly.
After the accident has happened and time has passed, you will still want to hold onto bills and any documents that you might receive that are in relation to the accident. If your case is still going on, or if there are complications in the future, these documents will be your best bet for getting the actual amount of money that is owed to you.
3. Call Your Insurance Company and an Attorney
The first thing that you will want to do after the accident is contact your insurance company. Your insurance company will be working in your favor in almost all cases, and they will begin the process of working with the other insurance companies that had customers that were involved in the accident.
When you are talking to the insurance company, make sure that you do not tell them anything besides the fact that there was an accident. You will want to contact an attorney before you actually start telling your story. Make sure that you find an attorney that is specific to your type of accident, such as a motorcycle attorney, and make sure that they charge an acceptable rate for their services. In order to protect yourself, you might want to consider asking a friend or loved one to do some quick research on an attorney in your area that will be able to provide you with the help that you need.
4. See the Doctor
If you have any injuries at all from the crash, be sure to see a doctor right away. Not only will this help you recover faster, but having your injuries documented in your medical records will also help your attorney present a solid case in court.
The one thing that you are going to want to watch out for are internal injuries that might not manifest themselves until long after the actual accident. Because of this, make sure that receive a thorough examination at the scene of the accident. If nothing is found, it doesn’t hurt to go to your normal doctor in order to have another examination, since they might be able to find things with more advanced equipment. If you have any bruises, cuts, or discolorations, make sure that you take pictures of these things immediately after the accident, which will make it harder for the opposition to attribute the injuries to sources other than the accident.
5. Refuse to Sign or Say Anything
Lastly, you will need to refuse to sign or say anything before you talk to your attorney. This is your legal right, and you should exercise it in order to prevent future problems. When the police officer visits the scene, they might ask you for your account of what happened. You will want to be kind and respectful and give them you account of what happened, but make sure that you talk to no one else, besides the other people and witnesses in order to get contact information.
You will also need to be extremely careful around insurance companies. It is possible that you will be contacted very soon after the accident, with them asking you about what happened while also trying to make you sign documents. They may become forceful and make threats, but know that the law protects you. By contacting an attorney, they will be able to handle the insurance companies for you, making sure that you are fully protected by the law.