What to do after a car accident: 6 steps to protect your rights
There are a number of situations in life where someone can sustain serious injury, and a car accident is one of the most severe. It’s easy for this type of situation to cause confusion and shock, making the moments following a crash a bit difficult to navigate.
Unfortunately, this could lead to potential problems when people don’t know what to do or the things that they should and shouldn’t say. This can lead to the injured party putting their own rights at serious risk of being violated by the at-fault party and their insurance company.
Knowing the steps to take following a car accident is becoming increasingly important as individuals are facing large insurance corporations who want to pay out as little as possible to injured parties. Protecting your own rights means taking these steps in order to seek the most favorable outcome.
STEP 1: PROTECT YOURSELF FROM OTHER POTENTIAL DANGERS
If you’re able to, it is very important to remove your vehicle from the road and get to the sidewalk. The road can be very dangerous and others could potentially be negligent. If you, other passengers, or others involved are left standing in the road, there are still potential dangers present.
If your vehicle is immovable and totaled, you want to be sure that you are at least getting all persons to the sidewalk. You may need help from others who may have witnessed the crash to get passengers to the sidewalk if individuals have been significantly injured.
STEP 2: EXCHANGING THE NECESSARY INFORMATION
Speaking with the driver you feel is responsible for the crash means seeking the necessary relevant information that can help you pursue legal action. This information is used by your insurance company and legal team to help show negligence in the matter.
Some of the information you want to get from the other party is their driver’s license information, contact information, license plate number, and insurance information. This is important to show our insurance company so they can reach out to the other party and their insurance to determine liability and fault.
STEP 3: GETTING THE AUTHORITIES INVOLVED
In some cases, you want to ensure the proper authorities are notified, especially if the damages are significant. This is also important if the responsible party performs a hit and run, leaving the scene of the accident after it occurs.
The authorities can come out and speak with all involved parties, as well as witnesses to the accident, and document everything in the accident report. This can be used when it comes to providing evidence during a car accident case.
STEP 4: BUILDING THE RIGHT EVIDENCE
If the responsible party is negligent and you need to get the proper evidence, it’s important to start building with a number of items. First, make sure you’re speaking with potential witnesses to get their side of the story and their contact information to provide to your insurance company.
You also want to take pictures if you can to show a number of things. Your pictures may include the following:
- Photos of the damage to your vehicle and the other party’s vehicle
- Photos of the scene of the accident
- Photos of any visible injuries you may have sustained
STEP 5: GET MEDICAL ATTENTION AS QUICKLY AS POSSIBLE
Seeking medical attention quickly can be important, even if you don’t feel as though you are hurt. The adrenaline of the situation can make it difficult to identify the pain immediately. Furthermore, some injuries may not be immediately apparent.
Injuries can take days or even weeks to fully develop. By getting the medical attention you need, you get a medical professional to diagnose any injuries you may have and a potential cause. This also means you can get a copy of your medical records as evidence for the car accident case.
STEP 6: HIRE A SKILLED ATTORNEY
During the time following the car accident, you may feel as though it is an overwhelming experience. The negligent party’s insurance company may ask to have a recorded statement or you may be unaware of the legal complexities when pursuing compensation.
By hiring a lawyer, you are protecting your rights to legal action. You’ll have someone on your side who can explain deadlines, help you file the necessary paperwork, and guide you through the process. A lawyer can speak with the other insurance company so you don’t have to deal with the stress of legal matters. Instead, you can focus on your own recovery.
At Sachs Law, APC, you’ll find dedicated and tenacious car accident attorneys who are truly focused on your rights and best interests. We work hard to make the client – attorney relationship as personal and trustworthy as possible.
You deserve to have a skilled team on your side who can help you manage the necessary paperwork, protect you from the tactics of the responsible party’s insurance company, and guide you through the complex matters that lie ahead.
Our team is here for you when you need us most. We offer free, no-obligation case evaluations so you can get an idea of what’s coming next without having to worry about the financial concerns. We’re also available 24/7 so you can reach us when you need us most.
Call us today at (833) MVP-WINS and discover your rights and potential options. Your rights matter and we’re here to protect them every step of the way.
Brett S. Sachs graduated from Michigan State University College of Law with Cum Laude Honors. While attending Michigan State, Brett was awarded for his service in the Michigan State University College of Law Civil Rights Clinic, where he represented prisoners of the Michigan Department of Corrections from injustices brought upon them. Learn more.
When You’ve Been Injured
Personal Injury Law