The 10 Most Important Things to Do After a Car Accident
So, you’ve been injured in a car accident by a negligent driver. What do you do now? In the immediate aftermath of a car crash, you may feel stressed, dazed, and unable to focus on anything. Of course, your health should be your number one priority. Following that, there are actions you can take that could be crucial for a successful car accident claim, if you decide to pursue one. This guide takes you through the 10 steps you can take, if you are able, to help yourself and your case in the minutes, days, and weeks after an accident. Keeping this guide in your car and following it after an accident will prevent you from forgetting key evidence.
- The most important thing to do is to seek medical attention if you are injured. Even if you do not feel like you are seriously hurt, adrenaline may be masking the pain of the injuries you have sustained. If you have any suspicion that you have been injured, call an ambulance. It is better to be safe than sorry.
- Once you’ve evaluated yourself for injuries you need to exchange information with the other driver. You’ll want to make sure you get a name, phone number, driver’s license number, and insurance information.
- Call the police and make sure to tell the investigating officer your side of the story to the best of your ability. Do not guess or speculate about facts that you do not know. After the accident, obtain a copy of the police report. This will provide a verifiable record of the accident which is helpful if you decide to make a personal injury claim
- Gather evidence at the scene of the crash. Take photos of the vehicle damage, the scene, and any visible injuries; talk to witnesses and get their names and contact information; write down the details of the accident while they are fresh in your mind, and keep any clothing that was damaged in the crash.
- Follow up with a doctor if you are in pain or feel unwell, even if you don’t start to notice the discomfort until the days following the car accident. Do not ignore these symptoms or assume they are unrelated. Some injuries are not immediately apparent and may take days to present symptoms. A medical professional can evaluate you and determine whether you have sustained any injuries.
- Follow all medical advice and stick to any treatment or rehabilitation plan. Failing to do so will make it appear that you were not seriously injured in the crash or that you don’t take your injury seriously.
- Keep all documents related to the car crash. This will include all medical bills, proof of lost wages, car repair invoices, etc. These documents will be required to prove damages. You should also keep a journal of the accident and write down the ways that it has impacted your life; both physically and mentally.
- Stay off social media. Everything online is discoverable, even private communications. Don’t talk about the accident or your injuries online. Things that you post may be misconstrued or twisted by the defendant’s lawyer. Even posts about doing something with a friend or just being active on social media can be used to try to prove that you are not as badly injured as you claim.
- Do not talk to the other driver's insurance company or lawyers, these people are trying to get you to say things that will hurt your case. Contact a car accident attorney instead and let him or her talk to the insurance company for you.
- Finally, hire a car accident lawyer. All of the steps are important but it is critical that you hire a tough, experienced car accident attorney. According to multiple studies, a good lawyer is one of the most important factors contributing to a successful resolution of your car accident.
Following these steps, after you have been injured in a car crash, will help our attorneys build the best possible car accident case for you. At The Collins Law Firm, we have years of experience and a record of success helping car crash victims just like you. Contact our car accident lawyers at (630) 527-1595 or fill out our contact form for a FREE consultation. We will review the details of your car crash, answer your questions, and explain your legal options.