The immediate aftermath of a car or truck accident can literally leave you dazed and confused. If you find yourself in this situation, it’s important that you know what steps to take in order to protect your rights and avoid mistakes that could limit your chances of receiving fair compensation.
1) Check for Injuries and Stay Safe – Exit your vehicle and turn on the emergency flashers. Check yourself and everyone else for injuries. Call 911 for medical help and police. DO NOT move any injured parties who may have neck or back injuries. Stay on the scene until the police say you can leave.
2) Assess the Accident Scene – Take pictures of the vehicles, any debris and the accident location in general. You may move your vehicle after taking photos, but only if you can do it safely. Don’t admit you were in the wrong or apologize (this could hurt your chances in court). Exchange contact and insurance information with the other driver(s).
3) Call Your Insurance Company – It’s important to call your insurance company immediately, because it’s better if you are the first to report the accident (rather than the other driver). Tell your insurance company the details of the accident so they can start working on your claim.
4) Call Your Attorney – The next call you make after speaking to your insurance company should be to an attorney who is experienced in handling automobile accidents. Even if the accident seems minor to you, there could be unexpected consequences down the road. It’s best to ensure that your rights are protected.
5) Get Medical Attention – Even if you seem to have only a minor injury, it’s important that you see a doctor within a few days of the accident. That’s because the symptoms and pain from injuries often do not show up for days (or even weeks or months) after the accident. Having a full medical evaluation on record could be vital to your case.