If you’re hurt in a car accident with a drunk, distracted, or otherwise reckless driver, you may be able to sue for damages. Since building a strong personal injury case starts at the scene, there are certain steps you must take in the immediate aftermath to be eligible for a payout. Make sure to complete these tasks following any kind of collision to avoid jeopardizing your subsequent claim.
5 Steps to Take After a Car Accident
1. Pull Over
If possible, pull out of the flow of traffic. Then, check yourself and any passengers for injuries. If you have a med kit in the car, do what you can until first responders arrive. If someone appears to have suffered a neck or back injury, though, do not move or re-position them.
2. Call the Police
Even if there seems to be minimal damage—or the other motorist tries to convince you to leave law enforcement out of it—call the police. Officers will direct traffic away from the area, obtain statements from eyewitnesses, and draft an official report (which you can be sure the insurer will require to process your claim). Make a note of the responding officers’ names and badge numbers so your personal injury attorney can follow up with them as needed.
3. Exchange Information
Get the other motorists’ names, phone numbers, insurance policy numbers, and driver’s license details. You should also ask any passengers or other eyewitnesses for their names and contact details, as their testimony could corroborate any claims you make.
4. Photograph the Wreckage
Accident reconstruction experts can determine what happened in the seconds leading up to the crash—and, subsequently, help you prove fault—by reviewing photographs of the scene. Capture the wreckage from all angles, and make sure to record both minor details like skid marks and major details like weather conditions. You should also start documenting the damages by photographing any visible wounds.
5. Call a Lawyer
If your first call after leaving the scene is to your doctor, your second should be to a seasoned personal injury lawyer. Once your condition stabilizes, an attorney can help you build a strong claim so you can pursue the compensation you deserve. Your lawyer will interview witnesses, consult with experts, track damages, correspond with the insurer, and handle all negotiations with the opposing party.
The personal injury attorneys at Neimark & Neimark know what it takes to secure sizable settlements and verdicts for innocent accident victims. Serving Orange and Rockland counties, NY, their team is backed by more than four decades of experience. Since they limit their scope of practice to personal injury law, they're able to provide comprehensive counsel on all kinds of accident scenarios. To request a consultation with one of their compassionate lawyers, call (888) 725-7424 or reach out online.