A car accident can happen at anytime, but do you know what you should do when you’re involved in one? If you are involved in an automobile accident, there are certain things you can do to protect yourself and your interests. The following is a list of the top ten things you should do if you are in an automobile accident:
Stay at the Scene
Never drive away from the scene of an accident, even a minor one.
Check on All Drivers and Passengers
Before assessing property damage, make sure everyone involved in the accident is okay. Check to see if anyone in your vehicle or the other vehicle is injured, and if so, call for medical help immediately.
Call the Police
An officer will make a police report of the facts of the accident which can be used in insurance investigations and lawsuits. The officer will also assist in exchanging information between you and the other driver, as well as routing traffic around the accident.
Make an Accurate Record
When the police arrive, make sure you tell the investigating officer(s) exactly what happened to the best of your ability. If you do not know certain facts, tell that to the officer. Do not speculate, guess or misstate any of the facts. If you are asked if you are injured and you are not sure, say you are not sure, rather than no. Often, the pain and injuries from motor vehicle accidents become apparent hours after the actual collision. You should also make sure statements made by other persons involved in the accident are accurate as well.
Take photographs of any damage to your vehicle as soon as possible after the accident.
Exchange names, addresses, telephone numbers and insurance information with other drivers. This information is very important. You should also obtain information about insurance by asking to see the insurance card for all vehicles involved in the accident. If there are witnesses, you should get information from them as well so that you or your attorney can contact them in the future.
Inform your Insurance Company
Promptly notify your insurance company you’ve been in an accident. Ask your agent about any time limits for filing a claim. If you plan on filing a claim, get the claims process started as soon as possible. Your insurance company will investigate the loss, take statements and inspect the damage to both vehicles in order to determine the merits of your claim.
Seek Medical Attention
If you have been seriously injured, you probably will be taken directly to a hospital emergency room. If you are not seriously injured, however, do not assume that you are uninjured. Often, injuries caused by motor vehicle accidents are not immediately apparent. Clients often report feeling the most pain a 24 – 36 hours following an automobile accident. Unless you are absolutely certain you were not injured, you should seek medical attention.
Keep a File
Keep all your accident-related documents and information together. This information should include a claim number, the claim’s adjuster who is handling the claim, names and phone numbers of all contacts, receipts for a rental car and other expenses incurred as a result of the accident.
Protect your Rights
Perhaps the most important thing you should do after an accident is to consult your attorney. Your attorney can protect your rights and make sure valuable evidence is not destroyed. If anyone was injured in the accident, it’s best to consult an experienced attorney. An attorney can help you maximize your recovery if you’re injured or better defend yourself if you’re at fault.
Contact Us Today
Car accident cases can be complex and it is recommended that if you or a loved one is hurt or killed in a car accident, you consult an experienced car accident attorney who has both the knowledge and resources to help you. At Goldblatt + Singer, our goal is to advocate for the rights of accident victims so that they can receive justice and maximum financial compensation. To learn more about our firm and how we may be able to assist you, reach out to our St. Louis car accident attorneys today.
We’ve earned the trust of over 25,000 clients over the years, and we are confident that we will earn yours.
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