Steps to Take After a Car Accident
If you were in an accident of any kind that was not your fault, you must remain vigilant during AND after the event. At The Hayden Law Firm, our car accident lawyer wants to help you avoid the missteps that often jeopardize claims. Here are steps to take to ensure your rights are protected at every step of the process:
Step 1: Call first responders and police
Your health is the #1 priority no matter what. After getting to a safe location, call an ambulance if there are injuries and then call the police in order to file a report. This report can be vital to your claim, which is why you should remain at the scene for as long as necessary to answer all questions. Be sure to get a copy of this report following the accident, or enlist a car accident lawyer who can do this for you!
Step 2: Exchange information with the at-fault driver
When exchanging information, it’s important to try to be as courteous as possible in order to avoid getting off on the wrong foot, however, never admit fault when speaking with them. Keep the conversation brief and shortened to both of you giving each other:
- Full names
- Contact information
- Insurance information (company and policy number)
- License plate numbers
- Driver’s license numbers
- Make, model, and year of the cars involved
Step 3: Take as many pictures as possible
Use your cell phone to take pictures from multiple different angles. These can be used to bolster your case, although, some pictures of injuries may not fully demonstrate the extent of the harm. Regardless, snap as many pictures as you can of:
- Your injuries
- Your passengers’ injuries
- Your damaged vehicle
- The at-fault driver’s vehicle
- Roadway damage such as skid marks, debris, etc.
Step 4: Take notes / talk to witnesses
If you are still at the scene, then try to search for witnesses to the event. This could be crucial to your claim if you need someone to give a third-person account of the events down the line. Try not to let them leave without getting their full name and contact information (phone number and/or email). Take other notes of the scene, including:
- How the events of the accident took place
- Your location
- Time of the accident
- Weather conditions
- Police officer(s) names/contact info
Step 5: Contact insurance
Do this as soon as possible while the details are still fresh. You must inform the at-fault party’s insurer that you have been involved in a crash with one of its policyholders. They might have questions for you, so it’s important to give them the facts but avoid editorializing. Keep it short and simple. In general, try to have a personal injury lawyer take care of contacting the at-fault’s insurance company if you can. Finally, it’s also good practice to contact your own insurance company as well, even when you are not at fault.
Step 6: Call a personal injury lawyer
Of all the calls you make when you get home, make this one of the first and don’t delay.
When a personal injury lawyer like Amanda Hayden steps in, she will not only handle all communication with the insurance companies on your behalf, but also ensure that all of the proper paperwork is filed properly and efficiently.
Step 7: See a doctor
Schedule an appointment with your primary care physician as soon as you can— within the first two weeks, if possible. You must do this even if you think your injury was minor. Whatever the doctor prescribes for treatment, be sure to follow their orders to the best of your ability or else risk endangering your claim. Finally, it is of the utmost importance to keep track of all medical bills from these visits.
Step 8: Recover — We’ll take care of the rest
We will handle all communication with your insurance, file the correct documents on your behalf, and keep you informed of the whole process. All you have to do is recover while we work diligently on your behalf.
Attorney Amanda Hayden at The Hayden Law Firm knows how to recover the maximum financial settlements and court awards that car accident victims need to move on with their lives. She pairs her background in business negotiation with extensive practice in personal injury law in order to get the results that others may overlook. This experience has proven beneficial in a wide range of cases over the years, and will continue with whatever type of case you face.