When you are the victim of a car accident, adrenaline and emotions can make it difficult to think clearly. To ensure you do everything you can to protect your interests, consider taking these prudent steps.
Stay at the Scene
After any car accident, you need to stop and remain at the scene. Even if you think there is no damage or injuries, it’s your legal obligation to stop and evaluate the situation.
Make Sure Everyone Is Safe
Your first instinct and action should be to ensure everyone is safe. Check with everyone involved in the collision to make sure there are no major injuries, and if there are issues, call an ambulance. Don’t attempt to move anyone who is injured because you could actually make matters worse.
Call the Police
Your next step should be to call the police. They are trained in handling accidents, so it is a big help to have them on the scene. Not only can the police properly evaluate the situation for safety concerns, but they can also provide an official record of the accident. This can prove to be quite helpful in the future if there are any insurance or legal issues that arise.
Collect Information From Involved Parties
The police will likely help the involved parties exchange information. You will need everyone’s contact information, as well as their insurance provider and policy number. This is especially important if the other party is at fault because it will help you follow up to make sure their insurance covers the charges for any needed repairs or injuries.
Call Your Insurance
Next, contact your insurance agent to report the accident and start a claim. Report everything you know about the accident, including the police report and the other party’s information.
Many people think they can skip this step if they aren’t at fault, but you need to protect yourself in case the other driver is uninsured or refuses to pay. Your insurance company can fight on your behalf in contentious situations.
Contact an Attorney
Even when the police and your insurance provider both do their jobs, you may need additional legal help. It’s wise to contact the best injury attorney you can. There can be situations in which you feel fine immediately after the accident, only to wake up in severe pain the next day. To protect yourself, it’s best to have an attorney ready to fight for you.
Because the scene of an accident can leave you feeling emotional and confused, you need to guard against making mistakes that can leave you legally and financially vulnerable. Shield yourself from future problems by taking the necessary steps and precautions.