There are over 6 million car accidents each year, and many of them result in injury. The moments after an accident can be traumatizing, too– especially if you’re in pain.
But, it’s important to take the right steps afterward if you’re going to seek legal assistance.
Not sure where to start? Don’t worry, we’ve got you covered.
Let’s take a look at everything you need to know if you were injured in a car accident.
Get to Safety
If you’re able to, get to a safe location on the sidewalk or in the grass as quickly as you can. Even though your accident likely stopped traffic in the surrounding area, you can’t always assume that other drivers are paying attention.
Standing in the road puts you at a high risk of further injury, so it’s best to wait for law enforcement to clear the scene before you worry about anything else.
Document The Damage
Once the roads are clear and traffic is either stopped or redirected, you can focus on assessing the damage to your vehicle.
If you have your phone on you, take as many photos and videos that you can of the damage to both vehicles. If you don’t have your phone (or it was damaged in the accident), take detailed written notes that explain the damage thoroughly.
Regardless of which method you choose, don’t forget to document the other person’s license plate number. This will be instrumental in your case if you can’t obtain any other info from the driver.
Obtain The Other Driver’s Information
After you’ve sufficiently recorded the damage to the vehicles involved in the collision, it’s time to talk to the other driver.
The info you’ll need includes his or her:
- Home address
- Home phone number and work phone number
- Driver’s license number
- Car registration number
- Insurance policy number
In the event that the other driver doesn’t own the vehicle they were driving, you’ll need to ask them the above information about the owner.
Speak to Witnesses
If there are people who witnessed the accident still at the scene, ask them to tell you everything they saw.
If they allow you to, take a video or audio recording of them speaking so that you have concrete evidence that can’t be later forgotten or misinterpreted. Ask them to state their name, the time of the recording, and exactly what they saw.
This information is vital in building a strong case.
If possible, ask the witnesses to remain at the scene until the police arrive so their presence can be documented in the police report.
Speak to The Responding Officers
Afterward, talk to the police officer(s) at the scene for their name, badge number, and the number of the police report. You can also inform them of any nearby witnesses who may need to speak to them.
If you happened to be taken to the hospital before you could obtain any of this information, contact your local police or sheriff’s office and ask for a copy of the police report. This will at least give you an officer’s account of the scene of the accident.
Contact Your Insurance Company
Even if the other driver was completely at fault, it’s important that you notify your own insurance company about the accident.
This is especially imperative if your vehicle needs repairs. While the other party’s policy may more than cover the damage to your vehicle, it may take over a week for you to hear from them.
Once the repairs to your vehicle are made and any other costs (such as a rental car) are handled by your insurance company, the other party’s insurance will reimburse the expenses after it’s been proven the other driver was at fault.
Seek Medical Attention
Even if you feel fine, you need to have an assessment done by a medical professional to ensure there aren’t any underlying issues.
For example, there is a condition ominously known as ‘Talk and Die‘ syndrome that involves suffering from delayed brain bleeding hours after a minor blow to the head. This scenario is notorious due to the fact that the affected party can behave completely normally up until incapacitation and death.
While it may seem sensationalist, that’s the reality of head injuries. So, don’t hesitate to seek medical attention after an accident.
If you have notable (but not significantly crippling) injuries like whiplash, a sprained muscle, etc., it’s still important to have these documented by a medical practitioner.
This will both help build your case and put you on the road to recovery.
Hire a Competent Legal Professional
In order to get compensation for your injuries, you’re going to need to employ the services of an attorney who specializes in personal injury law.
They’ll help you navigate the often-convoluted twists and turns of your case, serve as a liaison between you and the other party’s insurance, and help you prepare as much as possible before you head into the courtroom.
You can check out the services that this car accident injury law firm in order to learn more.
Injured in a Car Accident? Don’t Worry
But it doesn’t have to be.
With the above information about what to do if you were injured in a car accident in mind, you’ll be well on your way to getting the necessary legal assistance as soon as possible.
From here, you’ll get the compensation you deserve and be able to focus on recovery.