Life is full of the unexpected. Accidents seem to happen when we least expect them and are not prepared to deal with them. What should you do after an accident? Here is a list to get you started:
1. Talk to the Police
The first thing that should be done after an accident is to call the police. They should come to the scene and document all of the facts concerning the collision. Accidents can be stressful, and the police will help make sure no details are overlooked. It is also important to get information from eyewitnesses, including their contact information and what they saw. It can be helpful to take pictures, being sure to include all vehicles involved, tire marks on the roads, road debris. Also, document any injuries that may have happened as a result of the accident. Always call the police. Do not try to settle the damage with the other driver on your own even if they pressure you to do so.
2. Get Medical Help
Always get medical attention following an accident even if you don’t believe you are injured. Sometimes, adrenaline can mask the symptoms of pain. Also, don’t assume that the pain after an accident will go away. It is best to get immediate medical attention, whether it is from an ambulance crew on the scene or going to an emergency room.
Documenting any pain or problems that show up in the days or weeks following an accident is also important, as some injuries take longer to show signs or symptoms but can be equally as serious. Seeking medical attention right away will also help with any insurance claims that are made following the collision. The longer you wait to go to the doctor, the greater the chance that the insurance company will try to delay or even deny the claim.
3. Do Not Discuss the Accident
Do not talk to the other driver about the accident, including apologizing, admitting guilt, or blaming the other driver. It is best to just exchange contact information and wait for the police to come. Also, avoid speaking with the insurance company about anything other than the property damage details of the accident. Do not discuss injuries or treatment you may be receiving. While it may be tempting to post your grief on social media or share it with friends, it is better to wait. The insurance company could search social media posts to use as evidence against a claim should they wish to. Even a small comment or picture posted could cost the entire case.
When speaking to an insurance company representative on the phone, avoid making recorded statements of any kind, and do not admit guilt. Never sign a settlement agreement without first talking to an attorney.
4. Speak to a Personal Injury Attorney
Be sure to seek an experienced, respected personal injury attorney. Ask if they have had experience with the kind of accident you were involved in. Experienced attorneys will know how to advise you to move forward, whether you have a case, and what steps you need to take next.
While you cannot keep accidents from happening, you can be prepared for them. Knowing what to do and what not to do will help you to deal with the unexpected with less stress and worry.