Do You Know What to Do After a Car Accident?

Car accidents happen every day, but often, until you experience an accident, it's hard to know what you will or won't do.  Depending upon the severity of the crash, you could make some critical mistakes that you wish you could take back.

Recently, I had a friend who was in a fender bender at a popular shopping mall and tourist destination.  She assessed the damage and decided she probably didn't need the other person's insurance because it looked relatively minor.  With a new touch up to the paint, she'd be good.  So she left on her merry way.  Unfortunately, what she didn't realize was that she had hidden damage to her car and injuries to her back that didn't present until later.  When both of these were discovered, she felt that she had missed a major opportunity and done herself a disservice.

It's worth mentioning again what you should do after an accident so you don't make the same mistakes my friend made.  Protect yourself early on so you don't have to make it harder on yourself later.

Steps to Take After a Car Accident

When you've been in an accident, you've just subjected your automobile and your body to trauma and pressure from thousands of pounds of steel.  Depending on the speed and circumstances, the blunt force could do serious damage to you and even the airbags could cause secondary damage.  Your body may be in shock.  No matter the circumstances, it's important to keep a cool head and keep the following tips in mind:

  • Do not move if you feel you are in severe pain. Instead, try to call for help if your phone is nearby or allow a witness to help you call for help.
  • Always get yourself checked out by medical personnel to ensure you don't have injuries that are far more serious than you know.
  • Wait for the police to arrive on scene and obtain the information necessary to get your police report later.
  • Be sure to exchange insurance information with the other party.
  • Do not admit any fault, wrongdoing, or make excuses which suggest you may have caused the accident. 
  • Collect any witness information and contact numbers.
  • Take pictures of the scene from your smart phone including your car's damage, the view from your car, surrounding obstructions, etc...
  • Report the accident to your insurance company.
Depending upon the severity of your accident, you may be left in serious pain, your car may be totalled, and you may suffer extreme financial hardship.  In such a situation, you'll want to call an experienced personal injury lawyer to ensure your rights are protected and you obtain the help you need.

What Can a Personal Injury Attorney Do For You

Personal injury attorneys want to help you after your accident and protect your rights.  They do this in the following ways:

  • Arranging for you to get medical attention to ensure you're not seriously hurt
  • Arranging for help to get your car fixed, or to obtain a rental car
  • Contacting the insurance company on your behalf to help you maximize your claim
  • Contacting expert witnesses to prove your case
  • Reconstruct the accident using futuristic models or simulations
  • Track down the actual witnesses on scene
  • Investigate whether or not road conditions might have contributed to your accident
There are many ways in which a personal injury attorney can be helpful to you.  If you've suffered a car accident, you should consider contacting a personal injury attorney to help you.