Understanding what to do in the aftermath of a car accident can help ensure the process of filing a personal injury claim goes more smoothly. Neglecting some of these crucial steps can create some obstacles for you in the future, jeopardizing your chances of obtaining the compensation you deserve.
Try to remain calm and keep the following steps in mind if you are ever involved in a car accident:
- First and foremost, it is important never to leave the scene of an accident, no matter how small it might seem. Doing so is against the law, so stay put.
- Do what you can to preserve the scene of the accident. You can set up flares around the vehicles involved or turn on your hazard lights. Doing this can also help keep you safe if your car is too damaged to move and you are waiting for assistance.
- Call law enforcement officers to the scene. The at-fault driver might plead with you to skip this step, but a police report will serve as a crucial piece of evidence for the insurance company, so do not oblige this request.
- Ensure the record is as accurate as possible. Avoid making any statements that are assumptions, guesses, or an exaggeration of what occurred. Stick to the facts when answering any of the officer’s questions and, if you do not know the answer, state that you do not know. If the officer asks if you are injured and you are not sure or do not feel any pain, say that you do not know. You have not been examined by a doctor yet and should not make any definitive statements regarding injuries you might have sustained.
- Pictures will also serve as an excellent source of evidence, so take some time to photograph as much of the scene as you can and try not to worry about taking too many pictures. You can always get rid of any duplicates, but you will not get another chance to take these pictures.
- Exchange information with the other driver or drivers involved in the accident, including their phone numbers, addresses, insurance information, and more. If there were any witnesses, ask them for their contact information.
- Seek medical attention as soon as possible, assuming you are not in need of emergency medical assistance. Even if you are not experiencing any symptoms, you might still be injured. If you put off a doctor’s visit, you will put your well-being at risk and harm your chances of recovering compensation in a personal injury claim.
- Lastly, make sure you seek skilled legal guidance to help you navigate the process of filing a claim. The at-fault party’s insurance company might try to convince you to skip this step, but keep in mind that it is in their best interests that you attempt to handle this on your own. The last thing they want is for you to have a legal advocate on your side.
Speak to a Skilled Personal Injury Attorney at Scarzafava, Basdekis & Dadey, PLLC!
If you were injured in a motor vehicle accident, the medical bills might be piling up and your injuries might have even put you out of work for the time being. This is not something you should have to deal with yourself. At Scarzafava, Basdekis & Dadey, PLLC in Oneonta, we will fight to hold the responsible party liable for your injuries.
Our legal team is backed by decades of experience and a history of proven success, so you can feel confident in our ability to effectively represent you inside or outside of court.
Contact us today at (607) 228-8404 to schedule a complimentary case review with one of our attorneys!