Car accidents happen on average every 100,000 miles per driver. If you are injured or there is significant damage, it helps you to have a plan of action that you can follow. This is especially important if you have sustained serious injuries and you believe the fault lies with the other driver.
After a car accident, try to stay calm and do the following eight things to protect yourself from further injury, get treatment, and put yourself in the best possible situation to recover compensation for your injuries. Remember, if you need immediate medical attention, go directly to the emergency room in an ambulance and count on others to complete the steps below.
- Call the police. Contact law enforcement to get the medical attention you need and to secure an accident report.
- Stay at the scene of the accident. Remain at the scene until the police arrive so that you do not have to deal with a charge of hit and run.
- Do not move your car. Leave your car where it landed after the accident so that the police can use the position of the vehicles, skid marks and other evidence to fill out a crash report properly.
- Tell the truth. Answer questions the police ask honestly. Remember to stick to the facts, but do not admit fault.
- Discuss the accident only with the police. Do not engage the other driver or witnesses.
- Gather information. Addresses and phone numbers of witnesses and parties to the accident are important, including make of car, license plate number and insurance information Use your cell phone to take pictures and record injuries, damage and weather conditions.
- Contact an auto accident lawyer. As soon as possible after your accident, contact an attorney to help you deal with all the red tape your accident is going to cause with your insurance company.
- Contact your insurance company. Contact your insurance company within 48 hours of your accident. Once again, only provide facts. If possible, obtain the number of your accident report before calling. Let your agent know that you have retained an attorney.
Remember, you only have a limited amount of time to file a personal injury lawsuit so do not hesitate to speak to a professional about your accident.