What to Do After a Car Accident
After a car crash, you need to know what to do
The nation’s leading accident lawyers explain what steps you should take after a collision
There are 6 million roadside collisions in the United States every year. However, despite the fact that we hear about car and truck accidents every day, we never think it will be us. As a result, many drivers and pedestrians find themselves unprepared when they suffer a crash. How accident victims react in the seconds, minutes, hours, days, and weeks after their crash creates lasting effects. Doing the right thing or the wrong thing can majorly impact whether and how much you can recover for your injuries. As such, our experienced car and truck crash lawyers explain exactly what to do after a roadside collision.
If you’d like to discuss the specifics of how to handle your accident case, call us today. As always, the consultation with a winning Munley Law accident lawyer is 100% free.
Follow these 8 steps after a car accident
1. Remain calm and stay where you are
After a crash, many people want to panic. In all likelihood, there will be a lot of noise, movement, and commotion in the moments immediately following a crash. However, you must remain calm and clear-headed. Put on your hazard lights, take a deep breath, and quickly assess whether you or anyone else in the vehicle is suffering life-threatening injuries. If you are in a safe place, you and your car should stay where you are. Moving your vehicle could be dangerous or cause further damage and injuries. However, if you are presently in danger (for example, you were ejected out of the car or the vehicle spun into the middle of the road), carefully move to a safe spot. Remember, traffic is likely still moving, so take extra precautions before stepping onto a road or highway.
2. Call 9-1-1 right away
Regardless of whether you believe you suffered serious injuries or property damage, you should call 9-1-1 and report the accident. Stay on the scene until the police arrive. Write down the names, badge number, and precinct of the responding officer. If you don’t have a paper and pen, you can text or email yourself or a trusted family member this information using your cell phone. Ask the police officer for the accident report number and when and how you can obtain the report. Make a note of these details as well.
3. Take photographs of the scene
While staying in a safe place, take as many photos of your car, your body, the other driver’s car, and then entire accident scene as you can. If conditions such as weather, lighting, or roadside hazards may have contributed to the accident, make sure you have photos. To ensure the pictures are safe, email them to yourself or a trusted family member.
4. Exchange information
Ask the other driver(s) and any witnesses to the crash for their contact information. Make sure you get their full name, phone number, email address, date of birth, and the city and state where they live. If possible, it is also a good idea to take a picture of their driver’s license.
5. Seek medical treatment
Even if you don’t believe you suffered serious injuries, you should always go to the hospital to be sure. Many victims who do not know what to do after a car accident also do not know that sometimes they will not feel pain right away. After a crash, our brain pumps our bodies with adrenaline. This sometimes temporarily masks the feeling of being hurt in order to allow us to react quickly to get out of danger. In order to be sure that you are not actually hurt, you should see a doctor right away.
6. Notify your insurer to file a car accident claim
You should never rely on another driver’s promise to file a claim with their insurance company. No matter what, you should call your insurance provider and report the accident.
7. Gather all documents and evidence of your car accident injuries
In the days, weeks, and months after an accident, it is important to keep all evidence of the accident and your damages safe and organized. Keep all medical documents, reports, charts, tests, results, prescriptions, diagnoses, and discharge paperwork. In addition, if you have to miss or modify your work, be sure to save all correspondences between you and your employer. Also, keep all pay stubs and any other documents relating to your accident. Finally, make sure you keep all receipts and paperwork associated with your recovery. For example, documents from your physical therapist or the purchase of wheelchair ramps and home modification devices.
8. Contact an experienced car accident lawyer
Who you hire to represent you in your car crash case makes a difference. At Munley Law, we know a lot of lawyers and law firms talk the talk. Our approach is a little different. We think the best way to explain that we are different than the rest is to show you what our clients say about us and the millions and millions we win for them. What are you waiting for? The consultation is FREE and our policy is clear: if you don’t get paid, neither we will. Call us today.
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