Knowing what to do after a car accident will ensure you get the medical treatment and support you need. While you must put your health and well-being first, you can also take specific steps to strengthen your legal case later.
There is evidence and information available in the minutes after a crash that will disappear before your car accident attorney can begin working on your claim. However, if your injuries allow, you may be able to gather it before you leave the scene.
What Steps Should Be Taken at the Scene of an Accident?
While you are probably reading this after an accident, having this information is important if you or someone you know is in this position in the future. Knowing what to do immediately following a crash can improve your medical outcome and help you build a stronger compensation case. This includes:
Ensure Your Safety First
Before you do anything else, ensure you are not at risk for any additional injuries. Is your vehicle in the path of moving traffic? Are you safer remaining in your car or getting out? Is anyone else in your vehicle in need of immediate, life-saving care? Address these concerns first.
Always report an injury accident or one that causes significant property damage. By dialing 911, they will dispatch law enforcement, paramedics, and other first responders based on the circumstances you report. At the very least, you will want police to file an accident report and an ambulance to check for serious injuries and transport anyone hurt to the hospital.
Never Admit Fault
Never admit fault or apologize for the accident, even if you believe your actions may have caused or contributed to the crash. This is true whether you speak with police, others involved in the accident, or another party. There are likely factors involved that you are not yet aware of, and admitting fault at this point could jeopardize your claim later.
Gather Evidence, if Your Injuries Allow
If you are well enough to speak with others, take pictures of the accident scene, damage to each vehicle, and the other driver’s insurance card. Gather the names and contact information for everyone involved and all witnesses.
If you cannot do this, you can exchange information with a witness and ask them to take pictures for you.
While this could greatly help support your claim later, your health must come first. Do not risk further injury to begin building your personal injury case.
For a free legal consultation, call (800) 537-8185
Get Medical Care as Soon as Possible
If you suffer injuries and the first responders on the scene recommend you go to the emergency department with them, allow them to take you. You can recover the costs of this trip through your insurance claim.
If they do not believe you need immediate medical care, you have several options. You can:
- Make an appointment for the same day or the next day with your physician
- You go to the emergency department on your own
- Going to a walk-in clinic or urgent care facility
Any of these options will allow a doctor to evaluate your condition, rule out serious injuries, identify any necessary treatment, and provide care as needed. It is important to do this as soon as possible after an accident, though. There are several reasons for this:
- It links your injuries to the accident, reducing the chances the insurer denies the claim
- It ensures you get prompt care for any injuries you have
- It helps identify serious injuries that may not be symptomatic at first, including internal bleeding, back injuries, and minor concussions
What Are the Benefits of Consulting With a Car Accident Attorney?
Car accident attorneys generally provide complimentary consultations for victims of careless drivers who cause crashes. This discussion will allow you to learn:
- Your rights
- Legal options to hold the negligent driver accountable
- Recoverable damages
- How the law firm approaches similar cases
- How their contingency fee arrangements work
- Answers to your questions about the claims process
You need to act quickly and call the firm as soon as your injuries allow, though. There are deadlines in each state that apply. They include:
- Two years in Alabama per Ala. Code § 6-2-38
- Three years in Arkansas under Ark. Code Ann. § 16-56-105
- One year in Louisiana under La. Civ. Code Art. 3492
- Three years in Mississippi per Miss. Code Ann. § 15-1-49
Car accident lawyers can take any evidence you collected at the scene and add to it, building strong support for your insurance claim. They will value your recoverable damages and demand a just payout from the at-fault driver’s insurer. If they cannot negotiate a fair settlement, they will sue the driver and represent you at trial.
Victims of Car Accidents Can Learn More During a Complimentary Consultation
The Morris Bart law firm has 15 locations to serve our clients. The areas we serve include all of Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama, and Arkansas. We are a contingency fee firm and offer complimentary consultations.
Call (800) 537-8185 to learn more today.
Questions?Call (800) 537-8185
to find a Morris Bart office near you.