7 Important Steps to Take After a Car Accident

After a Car Accident

after a car accident

How you react after a car accident could impact your future more than you realize. If you want to file a successful car accident claim, it’s important to follow these seven steps. By doing so, you won’t have to pay for your medical bills, property damages, or lost wages out of pocket. Here is what to do after a car accident.


1. Move to Safety

First, take a deep breath. It’s normal to feel confused, disoriented, and even scared after a car accident. Remember, how you react can impact the outcome of your car accident claim. Make sure it’s safe for you to move. If you experience severe back or neck pain, call for help first. Otherwise, moving could cause you to develop a serious spinal cord injury.

If it seems safe to move around, assess your car. Make sure it’s not leaking fluids. Check the tires, too. Also, if your car is safe to drive, move it out of the way of incoming traffic. It’s important to move your car as soon as possible. Moving your vehicle can help you avoid another car accident and additional injuries.

Try to remain as close to the scene of the crash as you can. The police will want to know where the crash occurred. It’s important that you remain at the scene of the crash until police arrive. Otherwise, they could charge you with a hit-and-run even if the collision was not your fault. You don’t want to get into unnecessary legal trouble. Instead, turn on your hazard lights and wait for help.


2. Assess Your Injuries

About 1.35 million people die in road crashes each year. Another 20 to 50 million people suffer non-fatal injuries. Unfortunately, many injuries can turn into long-term disabilities. In fact, road traffic injuries are the leading cause of death among young people ages 5 to 29. 

Immediately after your crash, take a moment to assess your injuries. Take pictures of your injuries as soon as possible, too. Your car accident lawyer will use the photo evidence you gather when building your case. 

In some cases, adrenaline and shock can mask the full extent of your injuries. What seems like a few cuts and bruises might indicate a bigger problem. It’s essential that you visit a doctor once you’re clear to leave the crash site. Only medical professionals can take full stock of your injuries. They can order X-rays to confirm that your body did or did not sustain internal damage.

You might think you’re okay to head straight home after a crash. However, it’s possible you’re suffering from internal bleeding. You might not realize there’s a problem until symptoms arise which could take as long as hours or days from the incident.

Waiting too long to visit a doctor could cause a gap in treatment. The other driver’s attorney could argue that you sustained your injuries another way. They might claim you’re exaggerating about the extent of your injuries, too. After visiting a doctor, make sure to schedule a follow-up appointment. Otherwise, keep track of your doctors visits, medical bills, and treatment plans. 


3. File a Police Report

after a car accident

Remember to call the police immediately after a car accident. In some states, you’re legally obligated to file a police report, while you are not in others. A good personal injury attorney will require a police report so it can be utilized as evidence. This is extremely helpful when building a solid case.

Also worth noting, when you speak with the police, make sure to avoid embellishing. Stick to the facts and only what you clearly remember. Conclude by getting the officer’s name and badge number. Your car accident lawyer might need to contact them later.


4. Avoid Small Talk

While you wait for the police to arrive, try to avoid the small talk as much as possible. Do not apologize to anyone else involved in the accident. By nature, humans willingly apologize, even when they have done nothing wrong. Saying that you are sorry can be interpreted as an admission of guilt. 

Instead, say little and stick to the script. How you react after a car accident can impact your car accident claim. Instead, get the information you need and return to your vehicle. Request this information from the other driver or drivers involved in the accident: 

  • Name
  • Phone number
  • License plate information
  • Driver’s license information
  • Insurance information


5. Gather Evidence

after a car accident

It’s normal to forget certain details in the days after an auto accident. To avoid forgetting everything, write down your recollection of what happened. While you’re at the scene of the crash, gather photo and video evidence, as well. 

First, take photos of both vehicles. Capture images from every angle. Also, take photos and videos of your surrounding area, like road conditions, traffic signs, etc. Did someone witness the crash? If so, get their contact information. Your car accident lawyer might call on this witness to give their statement at a later time.


6. Call Your Insurance Company

Make sure to call your insurance company, too. Your insurance agent will let you know what next steps to follow. For example, some insurance companies require you to use an app to file your claim. However, do not disclose too much information until you have consulted with a car accident attorney.

In addition, do not negotiate with the other party’s insurance company, and under no circumstances should you sign anything. Instead, let your car accident lawyer handle it. 


7. Find a Car Accident Attorney

Don’t hesitate to find the best accident attorney in the area. Working with a lawyer will help you build your personal injury claim. Make sure to find someone who specializes in car accidents. Ask how many similar cases they’ve handled over the years. 

Confirm your potential attorney is licensed to practice in your state, as well. If you find a promising candidate, schedule a consultation to discuss the specifics of your case. Bring the evidence you gathered to your consultation appointment.

A car accident lawyer will assess the situation and help you determine your best options moving forward. If they think you have a case, they’ll help you file a claim. With their help, you can fight for compensation to cover your losses.


Contact an Experienced Personal Injury Attorney 

Follow these seven steps if you were involved in a car accident. Then, find the best accident attorney around to handle your case. They will help you fight for the compensation you rightfully deserve. Our team at Alpha Accident Lawyers has the experience you need to win your case. Contact us for a free consultation, so we can discuss the details of your accident.

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