Car Accident Checklist: 6 Things You Should Do Immediately
A car accident can be a debilitating event in a person’s life. Moreover, the restitution process is long-winded and requires proper paperwork for the claims to process seamlessly. There are several nuances to processing accident claims that are well-known to law practitioners.
While it might seem straightforward, the legal process is quite the contrary. If you or a loved one was involved in a car accident, hire a car accident attorney from JTrucks.com for superior legal representation. However, right after being in a crash, you can follow the guidance below to strengthen the integrity of your claim.
1. Assess the Damage and Secure the Crash Site
The first thing you do after surviving a car accident is establish the amount of damage to individuals and property. Check whether you and the passengers are seriously hurt. This includes the other driver and their passengers.
Next, secure the scene. Nearly 1000 auto crash-related fatalities occur on Michigan roads every year. But some of these deaths are preventable. For example, securing the crash site prevents pile-up accidents from happening, saving more lives.
If possible, set up flares at least 120 feet from the collision zone to warn oncoming motorists. If you don’t have flares, use the hazard marker in most vehicles’ toolkits. Keep your hazard lights on and turn on the headlamps in foggy conditions. All of it is to warn others of imminent danger and to attract the attention of law enforcement.
2. Dial 911
Call 911 and inform the agent about your location and the scale of damage. This will immediately trigger all emergency services to respond to the situation. The presence of the police is crucial in securing the area and easing the traffic flow in case an accident happens on a busy highway or a major road intersection. The police report contains details such as witness accounts, names of those involved, and road conditions, which is key when filing a personal injury compensation claim with insurance companies.
You can call to hire a tow truck from a trustworthy company if the vehicle is badly damaged and cannot move independently.
3. Seek Medical Attention
Get medical attention as soon as possible after the accident. Paramedic services will arrive on the scene after you call 911. Even if you feel fine and don’t have visible injuries, let the first responders do their job and get checked. This report will also be crucial to your claims process.
Furthermore, you need a medical report from credible healthcare providers testifying to your injuries. Getting medical treatment at the earliest opportunity proves that the injuries were genuine. This will prevent the insurers from discrediting your claim. The probability of your claim being denied increases the longer you wait for a medical check. The insurance provider can question your motive by pointing out that you didn’t access healthcare facilities.
Consult a doctor even if you feel fine because some injuries like whiplash take time to manifest after the adrenaline has died down.
4. Collect as Much Information as You Can From the Scene
You should gather enough information about the other drivers to be helpful when contacting them later on when filing a claim against them. Such information includes:
- The driver’s name
- Vehicle plate number
- Their license number
- Insurance details, including name and policy number
- Vehicle details, including the color, make, and model
Also, request any bystander’s address and other contact information. If you need witness testimony at trial, these accounts will become important to prove what happened. Your legal team will contact each witness and prepare them for trial if necessary.
5. Document the Scene
Gathering evidence from the scene is crucial to solving the puzzle and proving liability later. Ensure you collect video, photo, and audio recordings immediately after the car accident. Capture every dent and scratch on your vehicle from different angles. The pictures should have depth and also other items like coins for comparison.
Capture street addresses, names of adjacent buildings, skid marks, weather conditions, and traffic lights. Don’t leave out other telltale signs like damaged speed limit signs. This information will come in handy when proving your innocence.
6. Hire a Car Accident Lawyer
Once you’ve sought medical attention, consult accident attorneys and provide them with all the details you’ve collected. They will process this information and reply with the next steps. The more data you provide during your consultation, the better your chances of expediting the process. Don’t hide anything from the lawyers because their decision will rest on the accuracy of your claims. They will conduct an independent investigation into claims by all parties. So if you misreport anything, it will surface later and derail the process. Hence, it is best to be forthcoming with your legal team without fear of judgment, as their job is to defend you to the best of their ability.