You never expect a car crash to happen, and it only takes a second for your world to be turned upside-down. It is only natural to be shaken up and be unsure of what to do in the aftermath of an accident. However, what you do - or do not do - after a crash can have an impact on insurance claims you will file and the compensation you might receive. The following are some steps you should take after an accident.
1. Call 911
Many people wonder if they are injured “enough” to call 911 after an accident. However, if you feel any signs of injuries at all or your vehicle is damaged, calling emergency services is a wise idea. The police will arrive and assess what happened, issuing citations to or arresting drivers who they believe violated the law. It can make your insurance process easier if the other driver is found guilty of a traffic or criminal offense. In addition, emergency medical workers will examine you and advise whether you need emergency care.
2. Take Photographs at the Scene
To prove liability and damages in a car accident, you need to provide evidence, and evidence gathering can start at the scene immediately following a crash. If you are able to do so, use your phone to start taking photos of the accident wreckage. If you are too injured, request that a passenger or someone else take the photos. Take photos of anything that might be relevant, including:
- All vehicles involved and the damage
- Any tire marks on the street or debris
- The surroundings, such as road signs or intersections
- Your visible injuries
These photos can help determine liability, as well as illustrate the severity of the crash to help prove your damages.
3. Get Medical Treatment
If EMTs advise you to take an ambulance ride, it is a good idea to heed their advice. Even if you do not need emergency transportation, you should take yourself to the emergency room or urgent care for an examination if you feel anything out of the ordinary. Many people might feel sore or disoriented, and they assume it is normal following a traumatic event. These might be signs of a soft tissue injury or concussion that you should get diagnosed by a medical professional as soon as possible.
A prompt diagnosis will ensure that you have a treatment plan put in place right away, which can prevent complications from developing and, in many cases, speed up your recovery time. Furthermore, having a diagnosis as soon after the crash as possible can help with the insurance process. Your record of immediate medical treatment for your injuries should also be documented. If you wait to seek medical help, the insurance company might challenge the true cause of your injuries. Remember, it is important that you follow the course of recommended treatment from all of your medical providers including all follow up appointments
4. Keep Records and Notes
When proving that another party was negligent and caused your accident, you must present sufficient evidence of liability to the insurance company or during the litigation process. Having photos of the scene, all of your medical records, notes about your pain levels and limitations, witness information, and more all organized, you can make it easier to demonstrate that a certain party should be liable for your losses. Keeping records can help prove the extent of your losses, as well.
5. Call Our Firm for a Free Consultation
It is not required to have an attorney to file your insurance claim, but the right legal representation makes the process much easier and improves your chances of receiving maximum compensation for your losses. It is important to speak to an attorney before speaking to an auto insurance company about your claim. Never give a recorded statement to an insurance company without speaking to an auto accident attorney first, and beware of making an oral agreement to accept a settlement before completing your treatment. An oral agreement can be enforced in a court of law. To speak with a Forsyth County car accident attorney, call Banks, Stubbs & McFarland at 770-887-1209 or contact us online today.