What To Do After A Car Accident
Many people have never been in a car accident. If this is your first time, you probably have many questions. Don’t worry, we’ve got the answers. This post explains what to do after a car accident.
Step 1: Call 9-1-1
You should call 9-1-1 ASAP after a collision. The operator will ask you if you’re injured. If you’re feeling any pain, you should report it – even if you don’t think you need an ambulance. The 9-1-1 operator will dispatch a police officer to the collision site.
The police officer prepares an investigation report. That report contains the following information:
- How the collision occurred
- Where the collision occurred
- Collision drivers’/passengers’ contact information
- Liable driver’s insurance information
- Liable driver’s employer (if applicable)
Sometimes, the police officer doesn’t include witness contact information in their report. Therefore, if it’s safe to do so, you should approach any witness that is lingering at the scene and get their contact information. Your car accident lawyer needs that information to obtain witness statements.
Do I Need To Call 9-1-1 If I’m Not Injured?
Yes, you should still call 9-1-1 because you need the police officer’s report to file an insurance claim – even if you only make a property damage claim. You also need the police report to file a bodily injury claim.
If you need help ordering the police report, call Allen & Scofield Injury Lawyers. We’ll track down the report and purchase it. Then, we’ll create a strategy to help you recover compensation.
What If The Liable Driver Tells Me Not To Call The Police?
Don’t listen to him. He’s not trying to help you. He’s trying to help himself. For instance, he might be:
- Driving on a suspended license, or,
- Trying to evade an arrest warrant
Each one of those examples enhances your case value. Why? Because the jury doesn’t like people that violate basic safety rules. If you don’t call the police, you miss the opportunity to collect that evidence.
Step 2: Photograph The Accident Scene
Use your mobile device to take photographs of the accident scene. The photographs should document the collision damage and the roadway. That information often illustrates how the collision occurred. It also helps the insurance adjuster appreciate the impact severity.
Step 3: Get Medical Treatment
It’s natural to feel overwhelmed after you’re injured in a car accident. However, you should still get examined by a medical provider at the hospital or an urgent clinic. Even if you’re experiencing mild pain, you may have suffered serious injuries, such as a concussion or internal bleeding.
Trauma doctors are trained to identify and treat car accident injuries. They’ll examine you from head to toe. Then, they’ll order imaging scans of your injured body parts. That way, they can rule out any serious injuries. They’ll also refer you to a follow-up specialist in case you have lingering pain symptoms.
If you delay seeking medical treatment, your injuries might not heal. In fact, they might get worse. Additionally, you’ll give the insurance adjuster an opportunity to low-ball your claim. How? Because if you delay your medical treatment, the insurance adjuster will claim that you weren’t injured. The adjuster may also try to blame your injuries on something that occurred after the collision, such as your exercise regimen. Don’t give the insurance adjuster that opportunity.
Step 4: Call A Car Accident Lawyer
You might think that you don’t need a car accident lawyer to resolve your claim. That’s a mistake. Car accident claims are always more complicated than they initially appear. In fact, the insurance adjuster will blame you even when the police officer cites the other driver.
For instance, the adjuster will contact you shortly after the collision. They’ll act concerned and ask you to give a recorded statement. They’ll lead you to believe that you’ll get paid sooner if you give the statement. Unsurprisingly, many car accident victims give that statement before they hire a lawyer.
That’s a BIG mistake.
The insurance adjuster takes that statement to set you up. They ask you a series of questions that are designed to get you to partially admit fault, or, minimize your injuries. Then, they’ll use that statement against you in the future. Sometimes, that statement even pops up at trial so that you look bad in front of the jury.
Don’t let the insurance adjuster victimize you. Hire a car accident lawyer to prepare you for that recorded statement.
Allen & Scofield Injury Lawyers Can Help
You should call our Atlanta car accident lawyers as soon as the police officer leaves the collision scene. We’ll take care of you from there.