What Steps Should You Take After a Car Accident?
Many people who are involved in a car accident are shocked by what has just happened and left with questions as to what to do next.
When you or a family member is involved in a car accident there are three things you need to remember. First, make sure that you and all those involved are okay and then seek medical attention. Second, call the police so that the police can properly document what happened and, third, document the accident for your own records for future investigations.
Get Medical Attention
The first thing that you need to do is to make sure you, any passengers, and the other drivers and passengers involved are physically OK. Depending on the accident, you, and the other people involved could be injured and in need of immediate medical attention. If anyone is injured you need to immediately call 9-1-1.
If you are unable to do so then ask the nearest person or witness to call 9-1-1. At the scene of a collision your adrenaline is most likely running, and even though you may believe yourself to be OK, it is always a good idea to get checked out by trained medical professionals at the hospital who can check for any potential brain injuries.
Call the Police
The next thing to do after you have been in a car accident is to call the proper authorities. Most people do not know the number to the local police department, so calling 9-1-1 is just fine. This allows trained professionals (dispatchers) to assess whether an ambulance needs to be sent or just the police department. You should always ask for the police to come to the scene of the incident.
Police, once they are on the scene, make a full report of all that they observe. Officers will speak with witnesses, if any, and investigate any other circumstances surrounding the accident. Sadly, when the police are not called our firm frequently hears from the clients that the wrongdoer has changed their story as to what had happened.
This is because the wrongdoer has at some point spoken with their insurance company, and the insurance company has started to build their case against you. Once a police officer arrives and takes statements it becomes very difficult for the wrongdoer to change their story.
Document the Scene of the Car Accident
Once you’ve been looked at by medical personnel and spoken with the officers, you need to make sure to document everything surrounding the car accident, and the circumstances that the accident occurred under.
Take photographs of the incident and the Cars Involved in the A.
This helps us identify the angles at which the cars collided, the speed of the vehicles, the road conditions, and any adverse weather conditions that could have affected the drivers. The best time to get this information is while you are at the scene.
If you think traffic lights, sidewalks and cross walks, road work, hazard signs (think school speed limit signs) or any other signs in the area may be helpful it would be a good idea to take photographs of these.
Record Your Account of the Accident
Did you speak with an officer? If so, write down the officer’s name and the report number that they gave you. Did the wrongdoer say they were distracted? Write that down and anything else you may find helpful.
Find any Witnesses of the Accident
Third, you will want to find any witnesses around the scene of the accident. If you notice any people who may have witnessed the car accident, you should get their name and contact information. The police department will likely want this information so that they can speak with the witness.
Lawyers frequently want the contact information of all witnesses so that we can reach them at a later date. The testimony a witness provides can be instrumental to proving your case. Witnesses are independent people who provide the truth, despite whatever story the wrongdoer and their attorney try to say in court.
Contact an Experienced Car Accident Lawyer
As soon as you are able, contact our office to schedule an appointment with the Experienced Car Accident Attorney.
At The Genthe Law Firm, we have years of experience handling car accident claims and can help you with all aspects of your case.