Following a car accident, you need to stay calm and act fast ― especially if you or anyone else involved needs immediate medical attention. In addition, your ability to keep a cool head and make the right decisions after a serious car crash may impact whether or not you are able to seek legal recourse for your injuries later. In light of this fact, here are five things you should always consider when involved in any car wreck.
- Get medical treatment: After any accident, the first thing you should always do is seek medical treatment for anyone injured, including yourself. Even if you don't think you suffered an injury, it is still often a good idea to talk to a doctor, especially since some injuries may not present themselves right away.
- Call 911: If the at-fault driver tells you not to call 911, DO NOT LISTEN. He or she is likely only trying to protect his or her own interests. So, whether you need the police or an ambulance, you should call 911 right away. After all, in many cases, a complete and accurate police report will prove helpful if, and when, you file your insurance claim or personal injury suit.
- Gather evidence: If you are able, you should start to collect evidence at the scene, including using your phone to take photos of the vehicles and people involved. In addition to getting the contact and insurance information of the at-fault driver, you should also talk to any witnesses, and write down their names and contact info. Simply put, the more evidence you collect, the easier it will be down the road to prove your claim.
- Ensure there is an accurate record: When police arrive, make sure to tell them exactly how the crash occurred, and that this information is accurately reflected in the police report. You should also write down your own recollections of the accident before your memory of the event fades.
- Call an experienced attorney: One of the most important things you can do after a car accident is to contact a personal injury lawyer. Not only can an attorney help you investigate your accident and collect important evidence, but he or she can also help protect your rights against uncooperative insurance companies.
While these five steps are crucial following any car wreck, it is important to keep in mind that every accident is different, and some accidents may require additional steps. Contact the law firm of Wood, Carlton & Hudson, P.C., today to learn what legal options may be available to you given your situation, and what you can do to improve your odds of obtaining justice.
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