What Should I Do After a Car Accident?
The steps you take after a car accident can substantially affect your claim to financial compensation and other types of legal remedies. If you find yourself involved in a car accident, you should take the following steps immediately.
Check for Any Injuries
After you have been in accident, you should asses yourself and any passengers in your vehicle for injuries that need to be tended to. Don’t exit your vehicle until you have accounted for everyone.
It's important to get medical attention immediately! In the heat of the moment, the tense and frightening experience can cloud your judgment of any potential injury. No matter how minor it may be, even the smallest of injuries can escalate over time if not properly treated. Make sure you get a full evaluation of yourself and your passengers, stay calm and relaxed during the evaluation process and let the EMT paramedics know of any pain, soreness or discomforts you or your passengers notice.
Beware of Traffic
Accident scenes can be chaotic and stressful, especially when traffic continues to move through where the accident occurred. You should flash your hazard lights to inform other drivers on the road know that they need to be cautious. If you have them, use road flares or traffic cones to mark off the accident scene, this will help clear traffic from your immediate area.
You will need the name, phone number, and home address from everyone who was involved in the accident, including anyone who witnessed the collision. You will also need to collect the insurance company, policy number, and driver’s license information from the other driver as well. You will need all of this information when you go to file your accident or injury claim with your insurer.
Get a Police Report
Police reports make for excellent evidence when it comes time to file your claims, so it is a good idea to call 911 after you have been involved in an accident. Ask the responding officers to complete an accident report before you leave the scene.
Take Pictures of the Accident Scene
Because liability can be assigned immediately following an accident, it is important that you take photographs of the accident scene as soon as you can. Having quality pictures of your accident will strengthen any claims you choose to file. Be sure to take clear photos of the damage that has been done to your vehicle, as well as other vehicles involved in the accident. Because pictures are usually not subjective, they can be used to help you explain your side of the story more clearly.
Do Not Apologize
Although you might feel obligated to apologize after an accident, don’t. Your apology can be interpreted as an admission of fault and might void your accident or injury claim.
Consult with an Experienced Attorney
Proving liability for a car accident can be a complex and tedious task. There are many different types of damages available to people who were injured in an accident, an experienced lawyer can help you determine which damages should be pursued. More importantly, a lawyer can walk you through your case and address any questions or concerns you might have about the legal process.
If you have been injured or involved in a car accident, you should immediately speak with one of our attorneys. At Feldmann Nagel Margulis, we are committed to protecting the rights and interests of our clients. Our lawyers have earned distinctions from professional organizations like Martindale-Hubbell® and Super Lawyers® Magazine. Let us put our skills and experience to work for you today.
Contact our Colorado team of personal injury attorneys, or call (888) 458-0991 to schedule your free case evaluation.