Checklist: Before You Leave the Accident Scene
No matter how well you drive, accidents happen. Depending on how the aftermath of the accident is handled, you may potentially settle your claim with little to no issues. This will help you recover the damages for injuries and repairs. Taking the wrong steps, however, can lead to major delays and even a loss of compensation.
It is important to keep a safety kit and your insurance and registration information in your vehicle in case of an accident. If you’re unsure what you should do after being in a car accident, use the checklist below to help protect yourself and your interests. Consider speaking to a lawyer who can help you recover as well, like those at Greenstein & Milbauer, LLP.
At the Scene of the Accident
Car accidents can be overwhelming and frightening for most. It can be difficult to remember everything you should do following it. However, do your best to stay calm and collected, cooperate with others, and follow the necessary steps to protect your rights. Be sure you follow the steps below in the aftermath of an accident:
- Stay at the scene of the accident.
- Check everyone involved, including those with you and in the other vehicle for injuries.
- Call an ambulance if medical attention is required.
- Move the vehicle involved out of the road to the side if possible. Make sure the vehicles have the hazard lights on.
Report Your Accident to the Police
If there are injuries, serious property damage, or death then the police need to be called. Even if no one was injured, it is still ideal to call the police. They’re able to document everything, so you have a police report to fall back on later.
If the police are not called to the scene, a police report can be filed later on, though it is usually recommended that they show up to the scene.
Part of reporting your accident should be gathering evidence. Be sure you take the following steps before you leave the scene, if possible:
- Take photos of the damage to the vehicles and the surrounding area before the vehicles are removed from the scene.
- Gather as much information as possible by taking notes on the details of what happened from everyone involved.
- Get contact or insurance information from the other drivers, their passengers, and witnesses who may have seen the crash happen, including names, addresses, phone numbers, and insurance information.
- Provide your personal and insurance information to the other driver.
- Do not sign any papers during the accident, unless it is for the police.
- Do not admit fault or discuss the incident with anyone involved.
- Do not leave the scene of the accident until the other drivers and police clear the scene and leave themselves unless you are transported for emergency medical care.
After Leaving the Accident Scene
Even after you leave the scene of the accident, there are still things that have to be done, many of which involve the steps you took at the scene. These steps should be taken immediately after you leave to protect your right to compensation. It may help you recover any damages suffered with minimal issues, securing your case before you even file it.
First, contact your insurance company and let them know what has happened so they can begin their investigation of the accident. Often, it’s best to allow your personal injury lawyer to work with the insurance companies involved. They can settle disputes and get the coverage necessary to protect you. You never want to admit responsibility for the collision.
Get a copy of the accident report that has been filed by the police or other drivers involved. This information can be key evidence for your car accident claim if it states you weren’t the at-fault driver.
Ongoing steps can help your case, too. For example, keep detailed notes on physical and mental conditions or injuries sustained because of the crash. Track any medical treatments you’ve received because of the accident. Evidence of the lengthy recovery you’re facing can help you prove you’re due damages.
Contact a Car Accident Lawyer After a Crash
By reaching out to a lawyer, you can better protect your rights after being in an accident. Before you decide to provide any statements to the other driver or insurance companies, seek legal advice. They can help you receive full compensation for any damages you’ve suffered.
With Greenstein & Milbauer, LLP, you have someone on your side who’s ready to protect you. We offer free consultations, so you know what to expect when you’re hurt and in need of compensation. Give us a call at 1-800-VICTIM2 (842-8462) or complete the following online contact form to learn more.