More than 6 million Americans are involved in a car accident each year with approximately 3 million sustaining injuries. If you or your loved one is a victim of a recent car accident, consider taking legal action to secure adequate compensation to cover all your medical and motor vehicle expenses. To help you carry out the right protocols immediately after an accident, here are five tips for getting adequate legal help after a car accident.
1. Ensure Your Safety
After the accident, it’s normal to experience some form of disorientation and injuries. However, during the moment, you need to increase your situational awareness. Be sure to get away from your vehicle immediately if you spot leaking gas, cut wires, or fire. Failure to do so will only maximize the risk of sustaining further injury. Whether you were injured, hurt, or even killed someone, the best thing to do is to sit tight, remain calm, turn on your hazard lights, and try to get your car out of obstructing incoming traffic. If your car is in a good position, you can leave it there, and set up a few warning triangles 200m away from the vehicle. After doing so, assess your injuries and check on the condition of the other motorists. Most injuries may be internal and could cause severe damage. Ensure to call an ambulance if you’ve sustained serious injury.
2. Call the Police
After establishing that your vehicle won’t hinder oncoming cars, you need to call the authorities and report your car accident. Some states require you to legally self-report the accident; failure to do so could result in severe repercussions. While the police are on the way, it is important not to disclose any information to the involved parties or bystanders. When the authorities arrive, they will conduct an investigation and make a report. During the process, you will be asked a few questions. Ensure to be truthful and only provide the relevant information asked without inputting your opinion. Ensure to ascertain crucial details, such as the report number, officer names, and badge numbers. This will help provide your attorney with the information they need to evaluate your case and provide adequate legal representation.
3. Collect Evidence
During the investigation, you need to collect sufficient information to support your claim. For example, did you notice anyone bearing witness to your accident? If so, you need to take their contact information to provide an eyewitness to vouch for your claim. Furthermore, ensure to note down the date, time, location, cause, and specifics of the accident. You’ll also be required to collect the other driver’s contacts, such as their
- Insurance information
- Car license plate number
- Driver’s license information
- Names and telephone numbers
Ensure to take as many photos of the accident scene as you can. This will be presented to your insurance company and the court as evidence for your claim. Ensure signs of injuries, vehicle damage, location, roads, and street information in the photos you take.
4. Alert Your Insurance Company
Your insurance company can provide adequate help after a car accident. Even if you are at fault, ensure to let them know about your current situation. Doing so will allow them to share valuable information with your lawyer, like the other drivers’ details and the insurance policies they possess. On that note, when talking to the involved party’s insurance company, make sure to provide minimal information. Going overboard and discussing all you know will only harm your case as they’ll use what you said against you.
5. Call an Attorney
A lawyer can help collect all traces of overlooked evidence and compile it into a solid case. Ensure to provide them with the relevant details and documentation, such as medical receipts, photos, and a copy of the police report, or number. All of this information will be used to determine your settlement and compensation you’ll receive from the insurance companies. Ensure to hire a lawyer you trust from a reputable firm. The more experience they possess, the stronger the legal representation they’ll provide.
While car accidents are an everyday occurrence, adhering to the following five tips can ensure that you get the necessary legal help that you need after getting involved in a car accident.