What to do After a Car Accident?
Being in a car accident can be a scary experience and hopefully something that people don’t ever have to go through. Sadly, car accidents happen every day and if you find yourself in an accident you may not know what to do.
It’s difficult to always think clearly after a car accident, and some people may simply be unaware of what they should or could do to minimize the pain and aggravation of the aftermath.
Car accidents happen to good people every day; no one asks to be hit. This article is designed to help you understand certain things you can do to best navigate a difficult situation.
When safe to do so, consider taking the following initial steps:
- Check to make sure your vehicle is in a place safe from other traffic and turn the engine off
- Move your vehicle to the shoulder and out of traffic
- Never leave the scene of an accident
- If anyone is injured, call 911 and offer assistance
- Move to a safe location and instruct others involved to do the same
- Do not attempt to move people who are injured, unless they are in immediate danger
- Contact local law enforcement to report the accident
Collect information on the persons and vehicles involved, including ALL parties to the crash, responding officers, and all eyewitnesses
You should gather:
Names, including first and last names and/or nicknames
Address, including email (from eyewitnesses and those involved in the crash)
Phone numbers, including cell (from eyewitnesses and those involved in the crash)
License numbers (if involved in the crash)
License plate numbers (if involved in the crash)
Year, make, and model of vehicles (if involved in the crash)
Insurance carrier and policy number (if involved in the crash)
Police report number (from responding officer)
Documenting the accident can be extremely important.
Many people keep cameras or have phones with cameras on them for personal reasons. If you don’t currently have one, it may be a good idea to purchase one, just in case.
- Take photos of the accident scene and the people involved
- Have photos taken of you, if someone is available to take them
- Report the crash to your insurance company
- Be truthful and cooperative with the investigating officers
Besides a camera and a phone, there are other things that are good to have with you if you are ever involved in a car accident, some of which are required by law to have with you or your vehicle.
- Your insurance ID card
- Vehicle registration
- Driver’s license
- First aid kit
- Any medical cards
- Jumper cables
- Rags or paper towels
- Trash bags
- List of family and/or emergency contacts
- Cones or other traffic warning devices
Remember that the adrenaline and shock that accompany an accident can mask serious injury. So don’t be afraid to go in an ambulance from the scene. The ambulance personnel are trained professionals and can provide much needed assistance.
Preparation can sometimes make a difference in the degree to which a car accident overwhelms you financially, physically, and emotionally.
Once everyone is safe and an officer has assessed the situation, your next calls should be to a medical professional who can evaluate any bodily injuries, some of which can be unknown so close in time to the accident.
Once you are medically stable, you may want to call a reputable attorney.
This is because the insurance company for the at-fault driver may already be involved and you should take caution in any dealings you may have with them, including if asked to give a recorded statement.
An experienced attorney can help you understand what your rights are and how to protect them following a wreck.
Fisher Stark Injury Lawyers
At Fisher Stark, our attorneys have experience in dealing with the many legal facets of motor vehicle accidents and personal injury law. We fight for the rights of the injured and insured, the people, and not for the insurance companies.
If you are involved in an automobile crash, contact our office to see how we may be able to help. Remember, the insurance company adjuster is a trained advocate for his/her employer. An experienced personal injury attorney is on your side and can help you even the odds.
If you have been hurt in a serious car accident, please call, or contact the attorneys at Fisher Stark for a FREE consultation to discover your options and to ensure that your rights are being protected. Or Call Now
We will work hard to get you the justice & fair compensation you deserve. Fisher Stark, P.A. is a highly respected personal injury law firm in Asheville, NC. We provide experienced legal help for clients in Asheville, NC, and all the communities in Western North Carolina. Collectively, our legal team – Perry Fisher and Brad Stark – have more than 50 years of trial practice and have participated in more than 1,000+ injury cases. Call 828-505-4300 for a free consultation.