What to do after a car accident?
A car accident, even a seemingly minor one, can leave a driver feeling disoriented and overwhelmed. For this reason, it’s best to have a plan in place beforehand in case you’re involved in a collision. The steps you take (or don’t take) in the moments following your accident can make the difference between winning compensation for any injuries or damage to your property, and being left with debilitating bills and possibly even legal judgments against you.
By following the steps outlined below, you can significantly increase your chances of being awarded due compensation for your injuries and damages done to your property, especially if you follow the last step and contact a car accident lawyer.
SEEK MEDICAL ATTENTION FOR INJURIES
When you’ve been involved in an accident, your priority must always be your physical welfare. Even minor automobile accidents can result in injury, and sometimes in serious injury. The extent of an injury sustained during an accident is not always readily apparent. For this reason, it’s good practice to have any, and all injuries looked after as soon as possible. Not only will a doctor or medical professional be able to assess your condition better, but you’ll have an official record of your injuries, which may be of great help should you need to pursue damages or compensation in the future.
DOCUMENT THE FACTS
If you’re able, make sure to collect all available information about the other motorist(s) involved in your accident. Be sure to record names and relevant insurance information. Also, you’ll want to note the make, model, and license plate number of any vehicles involved in the accident. These days, most of us have phones equipped with cameras. If possible, photograph any damage to your car and the other vehicle(s) involved in your accident. Snapping a picture of the other vehicle’s license plate is a quick and convenient way to have that information readily at hand. Remember, the more information you can document, the better off you’ll be should you need to pursue legal recourse.
GET WITNESS INFORMATION
Eyewitness accounts of your accident can be extremely beneficial should you find yourself in court. If you’re able, obtain names and contact information from any witnesses to the accident who may be willing to make a statement or, should the need arise, appear in court.
FILING A POLICE REPORT
No matter how small or insignificant an accident may seem at the time, it’s always advisable to call the police. Having a police record of your accident can help protect you, should you develop more severe injuries, or if you are taken to court by another party to your accident. A police report will document the extent of the damage to your car, and to the other vehicle(s) involved, so any further damage cannot be ascribed to your accident.
You should never admit fault on a police report, to another motorist involved in the accident, or to any eyewitnesses to the collision. Even if you believe you are at fault, it does you no good to say so on the record. The moments following a crash can be confusing and overwhelming–this is not the time for a careful evaluation of who may or may not have been at fault. Studies show that motorists often remember crucial details about their accident hours and sometimes even days or weeks afterward. For this reason alone, it is better never to admit fault at the scene.
CONTACT AN INJURY LAWYER
If you’re injured in a car accident or being sued as a result of an accident, be sure to contact a Queens car accident lawyer. An experienced car accident attorney will be invaluable to you as you navigate the often confusing legal process and will make sure you are as well-protected as possible during the ordeal. A car accident attorney is also your surest bet for getting any compensation you deserve.
Don’t wait until the moments immediately following an automobile accident to decide how best to handle the situation. By having a plan in place and following the steps outlined above, you’ll be protecting yourself from undue liability, and you’ll increase the likelihood of winning the compensation you deserve for your injuries and any damage to your vehicle and your personal property.