6 Important Steps to Take Immediately After a Motor Vehicle Accident
4.4 million people are seriously injured in motor vehicle accidents across the U.S. each year.
Do you know what to do after a vehicle accident? Taking the right steps following a car crash can help you stay safe and protect your rights to pursue a claim.
Keep reading for our top 6 steps to take if you’ve been involved in a motor vehicle accident.
1. Make Sure Everyone is Okay
After a motor vehicle accident, move to a safe place and make sure everyone is okay.
If you can, move your car off the roadway and out of the way of traffic. Before you take any further steps following a car accident, make sure everyone is okay.
Call 911 and request an EMS if anyone is injured. Provide any help you can to those who are injured while you wait for help to arrive.
One of the most important things to remember is to never admit fault or apologize for the accident. Remember that what you say in the heat of the moment could be used against you later on, even if the accident wasn’t your fault.
Do everything you can to remain calm so that you can think as clearly as possible.
2. Call the Police
Once you have gotten everyone to a safe place, you should call 911.
Sometimes, people hesitate to call the police because they think the accident occurred on private property. The truth is, you should always request that the police respond to a car crash scene.
The police will create an accident report that will serve as critical evidence throughout the claims process. If you are severely injured, you may be transported to the hospital for evaluation and treatment.
3. Collect Information at the Scene
When you are able, you should collect as much evidence as you can at the scene of the accident.
Be sure to get the insurance information for the other drivers involved in the accident. Take a photo of their insurance card. You will also want their contact information and the contact information of any witnesses.
Take photos of each of the vehicles involved in the accident and the scene itself. This information will be vital to proving your claim.
4. Seek Medical Attention After a Motor Vehicle Accident
Even if you don’t think you are injured, you should seek medical attention following a motor vehicle accident.
Motor vehicle crash injuries are notorious for not showing up right away. This is due to several different factors including the nature of the injuries and the shock of the accident. Oftentimes, victims of vehicle accidents don’t realize they are injured right away because of the adrenaline rushing through their bodies at the time of the crash.
Even if you decline transport from the scene, you can take yourself or have someone drive you to the emergency room at any time. If you don’t think you need emergency care, you can visit an urgent care center or your family doctor instead. It’s better to be safe than sorry when it comes to your health.
Common injuries from motor vehicle accidents include whiplash and soft tissue injuries that may not be readily apparent. It’s not uncommon for injuries to show up weeks after an accident. Doctors know what types of injuries to look out for in car accident victims.
Many people don’t realize that motor vehicle accident injuries aren’t always physical. Being involved in a car crash can have serious effects on your mental health that require treatment and deserve compensation as well.
Getting prompt medical evaluation can ensure injuries are caught and treated promptly. Delaying treatment can make your injury more difficult to manage and can hurt your claim. The insurance company for the at-fault party may try to deny that your injury is related to the motor vehicle accident.
Make sure to tell your healthcare provider how and when the injury occurred so that your records make it clear that the car crash was the cause. It’s important to attend all medical appointments and follow through with treatments prescribed by your doctor. Get copies of medical records and bills for each appointment related to the accident.
5. Contact Your Insurance Company
The next thing you should do after a motor vehicle accident is contact your insurance company.
Some insurance policies require you to report accidents within a reasonable time frame. You should have plenty of time, but you should report the accident as soon as possible. If you have insurance information for the at-fault party, you should file a claim with them.
If not, you may decide whether or not to file a claim with your own insurance company. If you choose to do this and have to pay a deductible, your insurance company may be able to recover your deductible from the at-fault party’s insurer.
Navigating insurance companies is one of the most difficult aspects of being involved in a motor vehicle accident. You have to remember that insurance adjusters are not on your side. They work for the insurance company and they make a profit by spending as little as possible on claims.
Never sign anything, admit to fault, or agree to be recorded when dealing with insurance adjusters. The best thing you can do to protect your rights is to hire a lawyer.
6. Hire a Motor Vehicle Accident Lawyer
It’s never too soon after a motor vehicle accident to contact an attorney.
Hiring an attorney as soon as possible can help protect your claim and prevent you from making these and other common mistakes. The last thing you want to deal with after a vehicle crash is a difficult insurance company.
It can be confusing to figure out who to file a claim with and how to get the medical care you need when an accident is your fault. This is especially true if your injury causes you to miss work. Medical bills will start piling up even as your income decreases.
In order to prove your claim, you’ll need to collect information including medical bills and records, proof of income, police reports, witness statements, and more. You’ll also need to be aware of state-specific deadlines. You don’t have to do this on your own.
Experienced motor vehicle accident lawyers are experts in winning for their clients and providing critical support in their time of need. When you hire a lawyer to represent you, you can focus on healing.
Were You Involved in a Motor Vehicle Accident?
If you were involved in a motor vehicle accident, you may be entitled to compensation.
We are experienced car accident attorneys who specialize in helping victims of motor vehicle accidents. Taking to an attorney about your case is free and there is no obligation.
Contact Alpha Accident Lawyers today to schedule your free case evaluation to learn more about whether you could have a claim.