From a minor fender-bender to a serious head-on collision, being involved in any type of car accident is likely to be a scary and disorienting experience. In the wake of an accident, you may feel a range of strong emotions which could lead you to do or say things that negatively impact your ability to later recover compensation.
It's important, therefore, to understand the steps that you should take after an accident and why they are important. The following are five things that you should always do if you're involved in a crash or collision:
1. Make sure that everyone is okay - Check on not only the occupants in your own vehicle, but also those in any other involved vehicles. If anyone is seriously injured, call an ambulance.
2. Stay at the accident scene and call the police - Remain at the scene of an accident and call for help. A responding police officer will take statements from all drivers and any eyewitnesses, assess the accident scene and issue any related traffic citations. The police accident report is a key piece of evidence in any personal injury car accident case.
3. Exchange information with the other driver(s) - Exchange driver's license and insurance information with all involved drivers and also obtain the names, addresses and phone numbers of all passengers. When interacting with any of these parties, it's important to remain calm and cordial. However, it's also crucial that you don't admit any wrongdoing.
4. Contact your insurance company - Report the accident and provide a truthful and accurate account of what happened.
5. See a doctor - Visit your doctor and report any and all injuries and receive a thorough exam.
Annually, millions of people suffer injuries in auto accidents and, in many cases, the full extent of such injuries aren't readily apparent for days or even weeks. Even in cases where your actions may have contributed to an accident, you may still be able to recover damages and compensation for your injuries. It's always, therefore, a good idea to contact an attorney who can review your case and help determine if it may be in your best interest to take legal action.