Being involved in a motor vehicle accident can be a stressful experience, often leaving accident victims feeling overwhelmed and unsure of the next steps to take. However, your actions after an accident can significantly impact your health and your potential auto accident claim. Therefore, knowing what to do after a motor vehicle accident is critical to protect yourself and your claim. Below, our motor vehicle accident lawyers cover essential steps to take after a serious accident.
1. Call 9-1-1 to Report the Accident to Law Enforcement
The initial shock and adrenaline may distract you from any immediate pain, so look for any visible injuries before moving or getting out of your vehicle. Then, if you are physically able, check on any passengers and the other motorist.
You should call law enforcement to report the accident. If anyone needs medical attention, request emergency medical responders at this time. Police officers may come to the scene to investigate the accident and create a police report of the crash.
2. Exchange Information With the Other Driver
Once you have addressed immediate safety concerns, you need to gather and exchange information with the other driver. Our motor vehicle accident attorneys recommend obtaining the following contact and insurance information:
- Contact details
- Driver’s license number
- Insurance provider
- Insurance policy number
- Make and model of the other vehicle
- License plate number
If there are any witnesses to the accident, request their contact information too.
3. Preserve Evidence by Documenting the Accident Scene
Before you leave the accident scene, spend time documenting the accident with pictures. These photos may be critical evidence to support your potential accident claim. Important things to photograph include:
- Visible injuries
- Vehicle damages
- The other vehicle
- Road conditions
- Weather conditions
4. Get a Medical Evaluation
Regardless of how you feel, always get a complete medical examination after an accident. We recommend getting one during the first 24 hours after an accident.
Certain injuries, like whiplash, may not show symptoms right away. You want to make sure you do not have any injuries that may get worse if untreated. Additionally, a medical evaluation gives you the necessary medical documentation to support your claim.
5. Report the Accident to Your Insurance Company
In the following days, contact your insurance company to report the accident. Be factual and avoid speculating about accident liability or your injuries. You should avoid providing a detailed statement until you have consulted with an experienced attorney.
6. Discuss Your Situation With a Motor Vehicle Accident Lawyer
Consider contacting an experienced motor vehicle accident attorney soon after the crash to discuss your case. If you have suffered injuries and damages due to the accident, filing an accident claim may be your only way of recovering your costs. An attorney can help you understand your best legal options for protecting your legal rights and moving forward.
Get a Free Case Review From Our Motor Vehicle Accident Attorneys
At Karns & Karns Personal Injury and Accident Attorneys, we help accident victims seek justice and compensation for their injuries. Our law firm has extensive experience and success in handling motor vehicle accident cases throughout California, Nevada, and Texas. We may be able to help you on your journey to recovery too.
Our firm provides a free, no-risk consultation to discuss your unique situation and your options for recovering compensation. We can also determine whether we can help you. Call us at (888) 779-1180 or contact us online to schedule yours.