There are few things in life that are more potentially dangerous or life-altering than getting into an auto accident. And most drivers actually stand a high chance of experiencing one collision or more in their lifetime. Therefore, it is vital that you have a good understanding of exactly what to do if you are in a car accident.
Key Steps to Take After a Car Accident
The moments after a car accident are very nerve-wracking. They are a highly emotional set of moments that can make you take actions or make decisions that would not be logical in another frame of mind. Because of this confusion, you might not get the kind of financial compensation for injuries that you deserve.
Therefore, one of the first crucial things you must do is:
1. Calm Down and Breathe
You need to take a moment to gather yourself and your thoughts. Everything you do when you have been in an accident is crucial. Be sure not to make any rash decisions or say something you might regret.
However, it is also critical to keep a level head because you need to document everything that is going on at the scene of the accident. The steps you take to record everything will be important days, weeks, and months from now when you need to show your injuries.
2. Stay at the Scene: Do Not Flee
Try to stay at the scene of the accident if at all possible until it is appropriate to leave. If you don’t, you might be labelled as a criminal due to being a hit and run driver. Don’t take this risk.
3. Verify Injuries
A lot of things are happening when you are in an accident. The crash, the commotion, and emotion are just a part of it. There is also the fact that someone could be injured and not know it. Always verify if you have injuries before doing anything else or moving out of the car.
In addition, see if the other person has any injuries. This includes your passengers, pedestrians, and any other drivers or people that might have been involved in the incident. Relay this information to your car accident personal injury lawyer. Secure medical assistance for yourself and others if it is necessary and take all steps that you can to prevent anyone from getting further injured.
4. Call the Police
You want to get the police on the scene as fast as possible. In addition, you want emergency services like ambulances to show up if someone could have been hurt. That is why it is crucial that you make an effort to call them as soon as possible after an accident.
Death, injury, or property damage can all occur and therefore police need to be present. In addition, you can file a formal accident report to that you get the right contact information for every officer that responded to the scene.
5. Call a Car Accident Lawyer
If you get into an accident, one of the first things you need to do is call a lawyer as soon as you have called the police. If you are in Los Angeles car accident lawyer numbers are readily available, just like in any major city. There are many benefits to having a lawyer on your side after an accident.
First, your auto injury lawyer will help you understand how to document every conversation with your insurance company, other people involved in the accident, and police.
Next, they will help you through every step of the court and filing process. This is to ensure you get maximum compensation. The importance of having an auto injury lawyer on your side should not be underestimated because of these key benefits.
6. Information Exchange
Speak to everyone else who was involved with the accident. Get their names, numbers, license numbers, and other contact information. Also, get information about their insurance card and company. Be friendly but do not say you are sorry or admit fault in any way.
These kinds of statements can be used against you later in court or when you are trying to get compensation, which any car accident personal injury lawyer will tell you.
7. Speak to Other Witnesses
Try to talk to all the witnesses that you can find at the scene. Make sure to exchange information with them so you can contact them later. Take careful notes about what they are saying. This could prove to be vital later on when you are trying to get compensation. Witness testimony is often accepted in these cases, where it might not be in other types of incidents.
8. Take Photos and Document
Take photos of everything possible. You should take photos of the damage done to your car, of your vehicle prior to the accident (if you can), and anything involving the accident that you can think of.
9. Beware of Other Insurance Companies
You do not want to talk with other insurance companies without the help of your own insurance company or attorney. This is because they will often try to get you to say things to minimize your claim or otherwise trick you to help their clients instead of you.
10. Keep a Log of All Damages and Injuries
From the very first moments of the accident, keep a log of any pain, disruption of your life or experience, anxiety, or anything physical or emotional that has changed. Document all of your conversations with medical professionals and any diagnoses which you might have received. Also keep track of any economic losses or any other types of losses like missed work, vacations, family events, or other planned events.
It can feel like your world is turned upside down if you are involved in an accident. However, the truth is that you can get help in your compensation and justice-seeking. A professional Los Angeles car accident lawyer can work for you. They can help you get through the court system to make sure your future is protected.