You’re in an auto accident. You are in pain–or worse, in the hospital. Your medical bills are mounting. Your auto insurance company is calling. The other driver’s auto insurance company is calling. They want statements from you. Your health care providers are asking where your medical bills should be submitted. You are receiving letters from your health insurance company.
It is all overwhelming. What should you do?
If you are involved in an auto accident, you should take these five steps right away:
- Call for help. If you are injured, do not move and wait for help to arrive. Even if no one was injured, you should call 911 so police and emergency responders can provide any necessary assistance. The police officer who arrives on the scene will also be able to complete an accident report, and this report will most likely be valuable later when you need to process your insurance claim.
- Collect information from those involved and those who witnessed the accident. If you are able, you should collect the information of all others involved in the accident and any witnesses who may have stopped. Obtain the name, address, phone number, driver’s license number, license plate, insurance company name, and insurance policy number from each driver involved in the accident. Obtain the name, address, and phone number of all witnesses. If they are willing to tell you what they witnessed, write down what they tell you.
- Take pictures of the accident scene and all vehicles involved in the accident. Documenting the scene of the accident, including pictures of those injured in the accident, can be extremely helpful to recreating the accident and proving liability. Further, documenting the damage to the vehicles involved in the accident can help with resolving your property damage claim and demonstrating that your medical treatment after the accident was reasonable and necessary. All that to say, you should take as many photographs of the cars involved and the scene of the accident as possible to fully and accurately show the scene, the injuries, and the property damage.
- Do not make any admissions or statements about the accident. Oftentimes after an accident, the parties involved are disoriented and in pain, which can cause some degree of confusion and difficulty in accurately recounting what happened. Before you make any statement to anyone, you should ensure that your mental and physical condition are such that you are capable of making an accurate statement. If in doubt, simply give your personal information and insurance information to the others involved and to the police and say nothing else. You are not required to state what happened if you are not mentally or physically prepared to do so. Later, you should notify your insurance company about the accident, but prior to giving them a recorded statement (which they will request), you should consider consulting with a lawyer.
- If necessary, contact a lawyer as soon as possible to fully protect your rights. An experienced attorney who regularly handles car wreck cases can be an invaluable asset to receiving the medical treatment necessary to restore your health. Oftentimes, insurance companies will try to minimize your bodily injuries. Having a lawyer hired quickly after an accident can help ensure you are able to seek fair compensation for your losses and maximize your recovery. It might be a good idea to go ahead and put our contact information in your phone under “Lawyer” today, in case you ever need us in the future.
Don’t spend another day feeling overwhelmed. Call us today, we’re here to help.
If you have been injured in an auto accident, or an accident caused the death of a loved one, our firm’s auto accident injury lawyers would like to review your case. Preuss | Foster Law has an experienced team of trial lawyers that focus on the representation of plaintiffs in injury lawsuits. We handle car and truck accident cases and are dedicated to making the streets of our community safer places to drive. The consultation is free, and you don’t pay until we collect on your behalf. Call our team at 816-307-2788 for a free case evaluation.