Four Things To Remember After A Car Accident
Being involved in a car accident can leave you feeling confused and overwhelmed. You may wonder what information you should be gathering and what the next steps are. While the most important thing is to ensure the health and safety of your passengers and yourself, there are other important things to remember.
After ensuring that medical needs are taken care of, you should (or your representative, if you are injured and transported from the scene):
Collect the Details
Since most accidents are unexpected and emotionally charged, you will want to write down and/or document everything you can.
Take pictures with a camera or your cell phone from all directions showing the position of the cars, damage, and skid marks, clearly showing the location and environment at the time of the accident.
Collect the other driver(s) names, contact info, and insurance information. If possible, ask to see their ID's, car registration, and insurance information. Note the make, model, and color of all cars involved and the name and contact info for any passengers and pedestrians involved.
Visit an Urgent Care or Emergency Room
Even if you walk away from an accident feeling fine, you will want to have medical documentation of the accident and ensure that there are no unseen injuries that require immediate attention. This is also important in starting a documented timeline of your condition should you begin to show signs of injury.
Have the doctor or family member document any scratches, redness, or swelling that may become bruises.
Secure Your Vehicle and Notify Your Insurance Agency
After the scene is documented and law enforcement is done with the scene, you will want to ensure that your vehicle is removed. This may mean having it towed to an insurance-approved repair location, driving it yourself if it is safe to do so, or relying on a friend or family member.
Even if you do not think there is damage to your vehicle, you should immediately notify your insurance company of the accident and have someone appraise your car for damage.
Contact a Personal Injury Attorney
Even if you feel that your injuries are minor at the time of the accident, you should consult an experienced attorney to discuss your options. This is especially important as muscle damage, bruising, and lingering pain can affect your ability to focus, work, and take care of your family. A car accident lawyer can also help you with the insurance claim process and gathering the accident reports and medical information you may need to provide for claim purposes.