It is everybody’s worst nightmare, and yet it happens more often than one might think. In fact, according to statistics, approximately 4.4 million people are injured in car crashes on U.S roads every year. If you are involved in a car accident/collision, you must know what to do next. Here is a checklist to memorize and follow to ensure your safety and a better chance of earning a settlement award or winning in court should you decide to file a personal injury lawsuit.
Check for injuries
Check yourself, your passengers, and anyone else involved in the accident/collision for any injuries. Do this carefully as you might not feel your injuries immediately due to the adrenalin coursing through your body. Call 911 immediately if anyone is hurt.
Remember, most of us are not physicians and if you are involved in a car crash, it is important to have an expert medical provider examine you so to figure out what is going on with your health as a result of the collision. It is not a time to act ‘macho.’ Therefore, cooperate with the fist responders like Fire Rescue and paramedics and allow them to examine you and transport you to an ER (emergency room) for follow-up if necessary.
Call the police
The next step is to call the police (after you have called for an ambulance). The police will likely want to speak to you so that they can fill in a comprehensive accident report. While it is important to answer all of law enforcement’s questions, remember to avoid admitting any fault at all costs – even if you know or suspect that you were the one possibly responsible for causing the accident.
Write down everything that you remember
A vehicle accident is a traumatic event, and you might forget a few key details a few hours or days down the line. Because of this, it is important to write down your own version of events shortly following the crash. Jot down the names of witnesses and any other drivers, their phone numbers, addresses, as well as the make, model, and color of any other cars involved. Also, take note of what you were doing leading up to the accident and why you believe it took place.
Take clear photos of the accident scene if possible, as these pictures can be used as evidence when claiming from your insurance, or when filing for a personal injury claim. There is no excuse these days with most people owning smart phones with terrific cameras built right in.
Get hold of your insurance company
Contact your insurance company as soon as possible following the accident. Answer all their questions and, once again, do not admit to fault. If you prefer, it is advisable to do this in the presence of your attorney…
Contact a car accident lawyer
Wondering when to get an attorney for a car accident? It is worthwhile to contact a car accident lawyer in West Palm Beach if you have been injured in a car accident, especially if the accident was not your fault. Be sure to contact a car accident attorney as soon as you can as they will be able to advise you on how to handle proceedings going forward to bolster your claim.