Car accidents are scary times for everyone. Whether you’re seriously injured or just dealing with cuts, scrapes and bruises, you’re probably shaken and confused. It is easy to get lost in the accident and forget about the crucial next steps everyone should do when injured in an accident.
If you hope to have a strong personal injury case, you’ll need to collect some information from the scene of the accident. But your health and getting your injuries checked by a medical professional is always more important. The pull between going straight to the hospital and sticking around to get the information you need can often lead people to miss major details or make their injuries worse.
So, if you’ve been injured in an automobile accident, what do you do? This step by step guide can help you out.
1. Assess Your Injuries
Before you do anything else, check for injuries on yourself and any passengers you may have in the car. If there is nothing that requires an immediate rush to the emergency room, take a few minutes to slow your breathing and clear your head.
If you or anyone in your car has serious injuries, receive medical attention as soon as possible. If the medics working in the ambulance on site believes you must go straight to the hospital, do what they say and forget about the details of the accident. Your heath is more important.
2. Don’t Try to Move Vehicles
If the accident occurred in the middle of a road, you may be tempted to try to move the vehicles so traffic can continue to pass around you. While those waiting to drive by may thank you, the police officers who appear on the scene won’t. Moving the vehicles means that the police officers will not prepare a police report. It is better to leave everything where it is until the authorities can arrive.
3. Check the Damage
If you are able to get out of your car, do so. While you wait for the police officers to arrive, you can check the damage of your car and the other car involved. Exchange insurance information, take pictures of the damage, and be sure to catalog all the information the other driver gives you.
4. Account for Witnesses
If the accident occurred on a busy street or an area around other people, chances are some individuals who saw the accident stopped by to see how they could help. If anyone witnessed the accident, ask them to stick around until the police arrive so they can make a statement.
5. Get Police Information
Once the authorities arrive, be sure to introduce yourself and get the information of the police officers at the scene. After the police report has been made, get a copy for yourself.
6. Talk to Insurance Companies
Regardless of who was at fault, you will want to talk to both insurance companies. When talking with your own insurance provider, be sure to outline the details of the accident so they can get a clear picture of the damages. But when talking with the insurance provider of the other individual, be careful what you say. Do not give a recorded statement and do not discuss your injuries.
7. Contact a Personal Injury Lawyer
If the accident is the fault of the other driver, you will want to get in contact with a Los Angeles personal injury attorney as soon as possible. In addition to helping you receive the compensation you deserve to cover the medical bills or lost wages from the injuries you sustained during the accident, a personal injury lawyer can help ensure you do not say anything that will compromise your chance of winning the case.
If you were forced to go to the emergency room immediately following the accident and were unable to obtain the details of the accident, a personal injury attorney can also help you secure the information that you need.
Don’t allow yourself to suffer with the pain of your accident’s injuries. If you have been wrongly injured, get the assistance you need to get back on your feet.