We understand that a car accident is a high-stress situation. With shock and adrenaline taking over, you may not think about how your actions after a car accident could affect you when you are ready to file a claim. Though we hope you will never need the following information, in the event of an accident, it is important to know how to proceed. Here are five important steps to take after a car accident:
What to Do After a Car Accident
Step #1: Check Yourself for Injuries
Before getting out of your vehicle after an accident, check yourself for immediate injuries. If you look and feel okay, check on the other involved parties. You may need to call 9-1-1 for medical assistance.
Step #2: Call the Police
After an accident, it is important to call the police. After evaluating the scene, a police officer will contact any other appropriate authorities to help. In addition to protecting the accident scene, an officer will gather important information from the scene and write a police report. This police report could be beneficial to your claim later.
Step #3: Gather Important Information
Even if a police officer does come to the accident scene, you should not leave the scene until you have gathered your own information and evidence. You should exchange specific information from the other party, including their name, driver’s license number, license plate number and insurance information. You should also take pictures of the scene. Pictures have the capability of showing the vehicles involved, damages, road conditions and traffic conditions.
Step #4: Seek a Professional Medical Evaluation
If you are not seen by a medical professional at the accident scene, you should seek a medical evaluation after you leave the scene. Delayed car accident symptoms, like headaches or bruising can be common and could point to more serious, underlying injuries.
Not only is it important to seek a medical evaluation for your health, it is imperative if you want to file an insurance claim. Insurance companies will look to see if you sought medical attention after an accident. If you did not see a doctor or waited to see a doctor, the insurance company could claim your injuries are unrelated to the accident, give you unfair compensation or deny your claim.
Step #5: Speak With a Licensed Attorney
Before you speak with an insurance adjuster, we recommend that you speak with an attorney. Admitting any type of fault to your insurance provider could hurt your claim. A car accident attorney can help you understand your legal rights and discuss your best options to recover compensation for your damages. In addition, an attorney can help you gather vital information to build a strong case.
Have You Been Injured in a Car Accident in Santa Rosa?
If you or someone you love has been the victim of a car accident in Santa Rosa, we recommend that you speak with an experienced, car accident lawyer as soon as possible. At Flahavan Law Offices, we walk our clients through each step of a car accident claim. Call us today at (707) 833-8614 or fill out our online contact form to schedule a free, initial consultation.