Being involved in a car accident can be a very traumatic experience. You may be anxious and confused and not sure what to do next. It is, however, essential that you take several steps immediately following your accident to protect yourself. Here’s a look at the five steps you should take right after an auto accident.
Call the Police
No matter what the extent of your injuries or who’s at fault, your first step following an auto accident should be to call the police. The authorities can help in several ways. First, they can ensure you obtain the contact and insurance information from other parties involved in the accident. Secondly, they will provide you with an accident report, which you may need when filing a claim. Finally, the police may issue traffic citations, which may help to prove fault.
If possible, do your best to gather as much evidence at the scene of the accident as possible. This includes obtaining contact information from those involved in the accident as well as any witnesses, taking pictures, and writing down the exact location of the crash. Also, take a few minutes to jot down the circumstances surrounding the accident and any other details you can remember.
Seek Medical Attention
Even if you think your injuries are minor, you should always seek medical attention. You may have underlying injuries, such as a concussion, that you don’t notice right away. Waiving your right to medical care following an accident could limit your ability to prove that your injuries were a result of the crash. It’s best to be evaluated by a medical professional who can accurately assess your injuries.
Contact Your Insurance Company
Most insurance companies require you to report an accident within a set timeframe. This requirement makes it vital that you contact your insurance company as soon as possible. During this initial contact, your agent will ask you basic questions about the accident. It is equally important to refrain from talking to anyone else, including the other party’s insurance company or attorney, without seeking out legal advice.
Find an Auto Accident Attorney
The next step is to find an experienced auto accident attorney in your area. Be sure to find an attorney that has experience handling car accident claims and has a stellar reputation. Your attorney can manage communications with the insurance companies and help to negotiate a final agreement that is in your best interests. This will allow you to focus on recovering from your injuries, while still having peace of mind that you will receive the full compensation you deserve.
While being in a car accident can be very stressful, it’s important to take the right actions in the minutes and days following the incident. Taking the right steps can ensure you get the right medical, legal, and financial support you need to recover. Don’t risk losing out on the full compensation you deserve. Contact an experienced auto accident attorney today.
About the Author: Lizzie Weakley is a freelance writer from Columbus, Ohio. She went to college at The Ohio State University where she studied communications. In her free time, she enjoys the outdoors and long walks in the park with her husky Snowball. You can find her on Twitter at @LizzieWeakley and on Facebook at facebook.com/lizzie.weakley.