Car accidents are stressful experiences, and the moments immediately following can be chaotic. However, your actions in the aftermath can make all the difference in what happens should you need to file a personal injury claim. Keeping the following checklist in mind will ensure you take the appropriate steps to protect yourself and your right to compensation.
What to Do If You’re Involved in a Car Accident
1. Seek Medical Attention
After a car accident, your top priority should be getting medical attention, even if you don’t have visible injuries. Symptoms often manifest hours or days later, and only a healthcare professional can determine if you have internal injuries. Seeing a doctor will ensure you’re properly treated and create a paper trail of medical records that can be used to support your personal injury claim.
2. Make a Police Report
If there are injuries and significant damage, the police must be called to the scene. They’ll assess the area where the accident occurred and make a detailed report. This will also serve as key evidence for your claim. When providing your version of events or talking to other involved parties, be careful not to apologize or admit guilt. Determining fault in accidents is a complex process, and such statements could later be used against you.
3. Gather Information & Evidence
Exchange information with the other driver, getting their name, address, phone number, and insurance details. Gather as much information as possible to serve as evidence for your claim. Take photos of the damage done to both vehicles, your injuries, road conditions, signage, and various angles of the scene. You should also look around for anyone that may have witnessed the accident and get their contact information.
4. Consult a Personal Injury Attorney
Finally, consult an experienced lawyer to discuss your legal options. They’ll evaluate the extent of the damages you incurred – from bodily injury and medical expenses to lost wages and emotional harm – to prevent you from accepting a settlement offer that’s far less than what you deserve. They’ll also help negotiate or build a strong argument on your behalf should litigation become necessary.
By knowing what to do at the scene of a car accident, you’ll vastly improve your chances of recovering maximum damages from a personal injury claim. If you’ve suffered serious harm in a collision due to another motorist’s negligence, contact Stephen B. Kaufman, P.C. Over the last 40 years, he’s provided residents in and around the Bronx, NY, with trusted legal advice and aggressive representation. He’ll guide you through the complex claims process and handle law enforcement, insurance companies, and opposing attorneys so you can focus on getting better. To schedule a free case evaluation, call (718) 822-0500, or visit his website for more information on how he’ll help.