No one likes to think about getting into a serious accident, but it’s important to be prepared in case something unfortunate happens. While the moments after an accident can be confusing and overwhelming, having knowledge of the steps to take can make all the difference when it comes time to deal with any insurance or legal issues. Whether you are a woman, man, mother, or father, it is beneficial for everyone to know what their rights and responsibilities are in the aftermath of an accident.
Knowing how to navigate these situations properly will alleviate unnecessary stress and help you get back on track as quickly as possible. In this blog post, we discuss 7 key things you should do if you find yourself involved in a serious car accident.
1. Get medical attention as soon as possible
If you’ve been involved in a serious accident, your top priority should be getting the medical attention you need. Don’t hesitate to call an ambulance if necessary, or make an appointment with your healthcare provider. Even if you think it’s just a few bumps and bruises, going to see a doctor is important — some traumas can take weeks or even months to manifest, but early intervention can prevent more serious complications down the line. Most of all, don’t try to tough it out; getting medical help immediately after a traumatic event is key.
2. File a police report
Whether you’re a driver, passenger, cyclist, or pedestrian, it’s essential to file a police report following a serious accident. This can be a complex process if multiple parties are involved, but the more information you provide in your report the more likely authorities will be able to do their job and ensure that justice is served. Your testimony can sometimes be the pivotal piece of evidence needed to connect all the dots, so don’t be afraid to give detailed accounts of what happened – police departments are trained professionals here to help and protect you.
Make sure you get reference numbers for your police report for future records in case there is any insurance claim or litigation. Whether it was a minor fender bender or an unfortunate tragedy, filing a police report afterward is always an important step in the aftermath of an accident – one which often gets overlooked.
3. Take pictures of the scene and any injuries sustained
After being involved in a serious accident, it is important to immediately take photos of the scene and any injuries that were sustained. The pictures can provide invaluable evidence to accurately document the incident, especially if you need to file a legal claim or make an insurance report. Whether you are claiming for lost earning capacity in California or for medical expenses in Illinois, photographic evidence can be a powerful aid to your case. You can also use the documents together with medical reports to support your claim for compensation and damages.
It’s also wise to take pictures of any damage done to the vehicles involved in the accident as well as any property that was damaged during the incident. Keep in mind that accidents can be chaotic, so taking pictures quickly and clearly can help in understanding what happened—and ensuring you get any fair compensation you’re entitled to by law. Documenting the situation with clear photographs can be an essential part of moving forward after the accident.
4. Collect contact information from any witnesses to the accident
When the dust settles after a serious accident, it’s important to get contact information from any witnesses who may be able to provide helpful documents or testimony at a later date. Immediately following the crash, try to locate any eyewitnesses who may have readily available contact information to take down – this could help your case over time as testimonies can be extremely valuable when building a legal claim. Even if you’re unsure what exactly you’ll need this witness or witnesses for, document their information and hold onto that record just in case. It’s the best way to ensure that everyone who played a key role in the accident is properly remembered and accounted for.
6. Contact your insurance company as soon as possible to file a claim
If you’ve been in an accident, time is of the essence. You’ll want to act quickly to make sure that all of your bases are covered and that the cost of any damages or medical bills incurred will be taken care of. Contacting your insurance company immediately after an accident is a simple yet effective way to protect yourself. By notifying them of what’s happened, they can begin to process a claim and get it approved or denied as soon as possible so you don’t have to worry about mounting expenses or delayed action on their part. You may be able to connect with them over the phone or online; either way, by taking this first step, you’ll be safeguarding yourself and everyone involved from end results that can cause financial hardship down the road.
7. Get an attorney to represent you if necessary
After an accident, knowing you have an experienced and knowledgeable attorney by your side can make a huge difference. If necessary, it’s essential that you retain legal counsel to represent you. An advocate will be able to fight the insurance company on your behalf in order to ensure that you receive a fair settlement, as well as provide guidance and support throughout the entire process. By enlisting lawyerly expertise, you can protect yourself and make sure all your rights under the law are respected.
Accidents can be stressful, traumatic, and often life-changing events. There are several important steps to take following a serious accident that can make the process of achieving justice more manageable. Though the immediate aftermath of an accident can be overwhelming, it’s crucial to remember that help is available, and staying focused on taking important steps will help you get through this difficult time.
Make sure to seek medical attention right away, file a police report, take pictures of any injuries or damage, exchange contact information with witnesses, contact your insurance company as soon as possible, and consider getting an attorney if necessary. By taking these actions after an accident you will set yourself up for success in this trying time.