Steps to Take After You’re in a Car Accident
Drivers have certain obligations to drive safely on their day to day routes to and from work, to the store, or just taking to the open road for a change of scenery. However, in the event you are driving and get into a car accident, there are some very specific steps you should take to ensure your personal injury attorney and your insurance company have information for your claim.
What To Do After An Accident
Step 1: Avoid Admitting Fault
Do not say anything that might allude to you being guilty of causing the car accident, even if it’s clear you did not cause it. If your case goes to trial or in front of a judge, this could be used against you.
Step 2: Secure the Scene of the Accident
In order to avoid multi vehicle accidents from taking place and to preserve evidence, you should find a safe way to secure the scene where the car accident took place. Using cones, flares, and your vehicle’s flashers can help warn other drivers to steer clear and drive cautiously.
Step 3: Gather Evidence
After you have pulled over to a safe place, done your best to protect the scene, and called the police, make sure you assess the situation. Take pictures of the damage as well as injuries and, if you’re able, write down exactly what happened as you remember it as soon as possible. Chances are you might be asked to recall that information later, and having the information written down will help you keep the facts straight.
Step 4: Exchange Information with Other Parties and Witnesses
In order to submit your insurance claim, you need to get pertinent information from other people involved in the accident. Information worth collecting following a car accident includes:
Name, address, and phone number for
Drivers of the other vehicle(s)
Passengers of the other vehicle(s)
Any witnesses who saw the accident
Driver’s insurance information (usually easy to collect from the person’s insurance card) which includes:
Insurance company name
Driver’s license number
Vehicle license plate number
The other person involved in the accident will also ask the above information of you as well, so be sure to have it handy.
Step 5: Provide a Statement for the Police Report
Sometimes the police do not respond to the scene of an accident, but if they do, you will be required to provide them with a statement that will be filed with the police report. The responding officer will also provide you with the police report number you will need to reference later in order to obtain a copy of it later.
Step 6: Visit a Physician & Have Injuries Assessed
Although you might feel okay following a car accident, you still might have sustained injuries that cause pain later. Schedule an appointment with your doctor as soon as you can after the accident to have a record of what happened. If you delay and try to use the pain or injuries you have later to claim they are related to the car accident, the other party’s lawyer or a judge might attribute the injuries to something else.
Step 7: Keep Documentation About the Accident
Hospital bills, communication with your insurance claims adjuster, the evidence you collected, a copy of the police report, and doctor’s assessments can all be used to build a case for the injuries you sustained resulting from the car accident. Organize your records as best you can and hold onto them.
Step 8: Protect Yourself with Legal Representation
Insurance companies often send claims specialists to gather statements, but it is important you seek out advice from an experienced attorney before making any statement. Depending on the circumstances of your accident, your attorney may advise you on how to receive compensation for vehicle damages or your injuries, or both.
Contact a Personal Injury Attorney in Arkansas
If you’ve been in a car accident, sustained injuries, and need an attorney, find one with a wealth of knowledge about the laws and process involving personal injury claims. Contact The Brad Hendricks Law Firm today to discuss your case. We have offices in Little Rock, Conway, Fayetteville, and Texarkana to help clients statewide.