Five Steps To Take After A Motor Vehicle Accident
Accidents are, by definition, unexpected. They can happen to anyone at any time, even careful drivers who follow the rules. And the aftermath of an accident, whether minor or serious, is no time to be making crucial decisions, because a car crash only gets your adrenaline pumping.
Internalizing these five tips on what to do after a motor vehicle accident now, while you are calm and level-headed, can go a long way to reducing the stress of an accident — and protect your interests if you need to file an insurance claim.
Shazam Kianpour & Associates, P.C., offers the zealous representation you need after a serious traffic collision. We will do what it takes to maximize the compensation you’re entitled to.
1. Assess Your Surroundings
Before getting out of the car, take a minute to breathe and check yourself and your passengers for any immediate injuries. If you can, pull over onto the shoulder to get your car out of traffic. Put the car in park, turn on your flashers and check to make sure it’s safe to get out of your car before you actually do.
2. Call For Help
If anyone in your car or the other vehicle is bleeding or even dizzy, call 911. Any health concerns need to be checked by a medical professional, even if they seem minor at the time. Calling 911 will also ensure that police arrive to make a full accident report, which will be crucial to your personal injury claim. If no one appears injured, call the police anyway to make sure an official car accident report is drawn up.
3. Gather Intel (But Don’t Admit Fault Or Place Blame)
While waiting for police to arrive, gather information about the accident. Talk with the others involved, but do not accept blame or place blame for the car accident at this time. In general, you’ll want to:
- Exchange names, contact details and insurance info with the other driver.
- Write down the names and contact information of other passengers and witnesses to the accident.
- Write down or take pictures of the license plate numbers of all vehicles involved in the crash.
- Make note of the street name or highway, cross streets, identifying landmarks or local features, and any details you remember before the accident occurred (how fast you were going, what you saw right before impact, etc.).
- Take pictures of damage to your vehicle and other vehicles.
- Write down the names and badge numbers of any police officers who show up.
4. Seek Medical Attention (If You Haven’t Been Treated Yet)
Assuming you didn’t need to call an ambulance to the scene of the car accident, schedule an appointment with your doctor as soon as possible. Some accident injuries don’t show up until hours or even days later. So, even if you think you’re fine, that could just be residual adrenaline keeping you alert and responsive. Make sure you obtain a copy of your medical records after this visit, including results from any tests that were run.
5. Contact A Personal Injury Attorney
You may feel like you can handle your injury claim on your own. You spent all that time gathering information, right? However, many insurance companies will offer lowball assessments or attempt to blame the entire accident on you to avoid making payments — even if you’re making a first-party claim to your own insurance company.
You deserve full and fair compensation for your medical bills, lost wages and the suffering your family has endured after a motor vehicle accident. An attorney from Shazam Kianpour & Associates will advocate on your behalf, standing up for your rights and protecting your short- and long-term interests, up to and including taking the matter to trial if insurers refuse to cooperate.
Contact us anytime to schedule a free initial consultation with our experienced motor vehicle accident lawyers.