Motor vehicle accidents can be extremely stressful and traumatic, which
is why remembering what to do after a crash can be particularly difficult.
When you’ve been involved in a crash, whether as a driver, passenger,
motorcyclists, bicyclist, or pedestrian, it’s important that you
know what to do next to protect yourself. Making the right moves after
an accident can help make things easier for you later on, provide you
with the information you need for your insurance company and your attorney,
and can also help safeguard your health.
If you were involved in a
car accident, make sure you take the following steps:
1. Check for Injuries
First, survey yourself for any injuries. Next, make sure that everyone
in your vehicle is okay,. It might be difficult to be cordial to the other
people involved in the crash, especially if they caused the accident or
harmed you. If anyone is injured, ask if they need medical attention.
If you notice anyone in need to medical help, call 911 and ask for an
ambulance, and provide any help you can until they arrive.
2. Call the Police
Once everyone’s medical needs have been seen to, you will need to
call the police, if you haven’t called 911 already. Sometimes it
isn’t strictly necessary to call the police after an accident, but
having a police report of the incident can make it easier to deal with
the your insurance company later on. And, if you take legal action, having
a police record of the crash can help exponentially. Also, an investigation
by an unbiased third-party, the officer, can help your case.
3. Exchange Information
Next, you will need to exchange vital information with the other parties
involved in the crash. When you speak with the other driver(s) make sure
you write down their full names, address, phone number, email, insurance
provider, driver’s license number, vehicle license plate, and vehicle
information. If there were pedestrians involved, bicyclists, or witnesses,
make sure you gather their information as well. The testimony of an eyewitness
can help your case and insurance company. Make sure you also jot down
notes about the testimonies of the eyewitnesses and how they interpreted
4. Document the Crash
Nowadays, taking photos of the accident is one of the easiest ways to gather
evidence after a crash. Take photos of the vehicles involved, the surrounding
road and area, and the injuries caused. When you take pictures of the
involved vehicles, make sure you focus on the damaged areas and take photos
of the license plates. If there was debris in the road, poor visibility,
rain, a fallen phone pole, a broken traffic light, or another road hazard
that could have contributed to the cause of the crash, make sure you take
a photo of it. If you do take photos of the injuries, make sure you have
permission from the injured individual first.
5. See a Doctor
Even if you already went to the hospital after the crash, make sure you
visit a doctor after the accident. Seeing your own doctor for an opinion
you trust is crucial. If you never did get medical attention the day of
the crash, it is especially important that you see a doctor to make sure
your injuries do not go unchecked. Some injuries, like whiplash, can go
unnoticed because the adrenaline from the crash hides warning signs or
symptoms. Even if you are perfectly healthy and notice no problems, having
a professional opinion from a doctor you trust can save your health.
6. Contact Your Attorney
After the other essentials have been taken care of, it is important to
think about the next step. An experienced personal injury attorney can
provide you with the guidance you need after an accident, helping with
insurance claims, gathering evidence after a crash, finding the likely
cause, and building a solid case in your favor. Taking action to defend
your rights and seek fair compensation after a car, truck, or motorcycle
accident is essential. Even if you do have some coverage through your
insurance company, taking legal action might be your only way to seek
full compensation after an accident.
For help after a car accident, contact
our Washington DC personal injury lawyers at Simeone & Miller, LLP