Must-Do Steps To Take After A Car Accident
No one expects to be involved in a car accident. Once the immediate shock wears off, chances are you’ll be left wondering what to do. The actions you need to take after a car accident can be separated into two parts:
- The immediate aftermath of the accident and
What To Do In The Immediate Aftermath Of A Car Accident
1. Stay at the Scene. Always remain at the scene of the accident until you have spoken to the police. Leaving the scene before doing so can be misconstrued as hit-and-run – particularly if there have been severe injuries and/or a death.
2. Check for Injuries. If you are able to do so, check yourself, your passengers, the occupants of the other vehicle and any bystanders for injuries. Call 911 to get medical attention if needed.
3. Call the Police. Even in non-serious accidents, it is best to call the police, but if there is serious property damage or significant injuries or a death, calling the police is a must. When the police arrive be sure to collect their names and badge numbers for future reference.
4. Collect and Share Information. While you wait for the police to arrive, exchange insurance and contact information from the other driver(s), passengers, and witnesses. Take pictures at the scene to document the situation and property damage.
5. Do Not Talk About the Accident. One thing you should never do is discuss fault for the accident. Don’t apologize if you think you were at fault and don’t accuse the other if you think he/she was at fault. By discussing the accident, you may be admitting legal liability, cloud witness judgement, or confuse your own memory of the event.
6. Remain Calm. Throughout this entire process, remain level headed, calm, and cooperative. Emotions are no doubt running high and the last thing you need is an emotionally charged situation on your hands.
Step To Take After The Accident
After the accident has been cleared and you are home, you’ll need to take a few more steps.
1. Call Your Insurance Company. Contact your insurance agent as soon as possible after the accident. Provide them with the facts and answer their questions honestly. If you lie or withhold information and the insurer finds out, it could jeopardize your coverage payout.
2. See a Doctor. Even if you feel fine or were cleared by paramedics at the scene, make an appointment to see your own physician to rule out any missed injuries. Some injuries don’t begin to show themselves for days or even weeks afterward. Keep track of all medical appointments, reports, treatments, and bills.
3. Record Changes to Your Life. If the accident or related injuries cause you to miss work or injuries prevent you from returning to your normal routine, document the changes. This kind of information can be helpful when proving pain and suffering.
4. Contact an Auto Accident Attorney. If there were injuries or severe property damage or if you are having trouble dealing with your insurance company, contact an experienced car accident attorney. An attorney can help you navigate the claims process, ensure you receive a fair settlement and defend you from lawsuits if it comes to that. Many personal injury attorneys work on a contingency fee basis; that means you will only need to pay them if you are awarded damages or achieve a settlement.
If you have been involved in a car accident in Florida and need legal advice, contact The Beregovich Law Firm. We offer free consultations and a no-hassle process to help you recover after an auto accident.
Call (800) 631-9009 or email us to discuss your situation.