If you are in a car crash, it is important to stay calm and take the proper steps to ensure that you handle the situation properly. This may seem like a lot to remember, but it is crucial that you take care of yourself and others involved in the accident. By following the steps outlined below, you can minimize the potential for injury and ensure that all necessary paperwork is taken care of.
#1 - Check for injuries and obtain medical care.
The first thing you should do is assess your condition and check to see if you have sustained any injuries. However, it is important to keep in mind that you may not immediately feel the pain of the injuries you’ve endured. This is because the shock of the accident has the potential to block the pain receptors in your brain, even though you’ve sustained injuries.
If you don’t feel seriously hurt, it is still to your benefit to seek medical care soon after the accident to rule out any significant injuries that may not be immediately apparent. Additionally, this documentation can be very beneficial to the outcome of your case.
#2 - Take photos of the accident scene, if possible.
If you are able to, it is a good idea to take some photos of the accident scene as well as any physical injuries you’ve sustained. These images can be very valuable for providing evidence to support your case.
#3 - Move your vehicle to the side of the road, if possible.
It is wise to move your vehicle to the side of the road if you can in order to prevent further accidents from occurring. This can also help reduce the amount of traffic congestion that develops as a result of the crash.
#4 - Obtain a police report.
Be sure to call 9-1-1 and let the dispatcher know what happened. Ask them to send a police officer to the scene to make a report. This report can be very helpful to your case later, so be sure to get the police report number from the officer before they leave the scene. Most accident reports become available about 10 business days from the date of the crash.
#5 - Exchange information with the other driver, including insurance information.
The officer that investigates the crash should obtain this information, but if not, it is important that you obtain it. Having this information will be critical in recovering compensation from the party that negligently caused your injuries.
#6 - Speak with a skilled car accident attorney.
While you may think you can handle the situation yourself, having a skilled car accident attorney on your side can make all the difference in the outcome of your case. The experienced attorneys at Pines & Goldenzweig, PLLC know how to effectively deal with insurance companies and can fight for the maximum compensation on your behalf.
#7 - Call your insurance company to report the accident.
It is critical that you do not speak with the insurance company before reaching out to a car accident attorney. Insurance companies are not as much there to help you as they are to turn a profit. So if they can profit off undervaluing or devaluing your claim, they won’t hesitate to do so, even if it means paying you less compensation than you rightfully deserve.
Having an attorney on your side can help avoid such a situation because experienced attorneys know the tactics insurance companies use to prevent spending more money than they are required to on claims.
#8 - Keep track of all expenses related to the accident, including medical bills and car repairs.
It is critical that you keep an accurate and organized file of all the documents related to the accident. Doing so can be very useful to your claim because it can not only help speed up the entire process but can also help ensure you receive the maximum compensation you deserve.
#9 - Be cautious when speaking with insurance adjusters or other representatives from either insurance company involved in the accident.
Keep in mind that you are not required to provide a statement about the accident to the insurance company over the phone. They may lead you to believe so, but that is not truly the case. In fact, you also have the option to provide your statement in writing, or your attorney may do it for you.
If you choose to speak with the insurance company yourself, be sure to do so when you are clear-headed and in a calm and collected manner so that you don’t accidentally say something that could hurt your claim.
By following these steps, you can protect yourself and your interests after a car accident. While it may be difficult to think straight in the aftermath of a crash, taking these steps can help you resolve the situation more smoothly.
We’re Here for Injured Accident Victims
If you’ve been hurt in a car accident, you may be eligible for compensation to help cover your losses. Don’t hesitate to reach out to our skilled team right away to learn more about what we can do to help with your case.
Contact the experienced team here at Pines & Goldenzweig, PLLC today to discuss the details of your case. Give us a call at (713) 609-1930 or fill out the online contact form.