Being in a car accident is a traumatic experience, to say the least. You may have injuries ranging from minor aches and pains to serious conditions. Your emotions are certainly running high—anger, betrayal, confusion, fear and more. You know the other person is responsible and they should pay for your damages, but you're not sure what to do.
Taking the right steps is essential to getting maximum compensation. Discover the important steps you need to take immediately after you're in a car crash and why calling a car accident attorney should be among them.
Call First Responders
Call for first responders. This serves several purposes. First, anyone who needs medical attention will get it right away, and that's important. Second, you'll get a police report which can be helpful in backing up your story later, as well as providing contact information for any witnesses.
Check on Everyone
Make sure that everyone's okay, and ensure that anyone who's hurt even a little gets medical attention. The first concern is to keep everyone healthy and treat injuries. Don't move anyone with back pain or who is unconscious.
Exchange Relevant Info
Exchange contact information and insurance information with the other driver. This should include name, address, phone, email, driver's license number, insurance policy, license plate number and the like. Also talk to passengers and witnesses and get their contact information.
Take as many pictures of the scene as you can. The more angles and images you can capture, the better able you'll be to reconstruct the accident and support your version of the story when the time comes to seek damages.
What Not to Do
Never apologize for anything. Any apology you issue could be taken as an admission of guilt and could hurt your case later. Also, never sign anything without first talking to an attorney. Don't agree to any offers for settlement right away. You might be amazed how fast insurance companies jump on you to get you to sign away your rights on lowball offers.
Finally, never leave the scene of an accident until you've gotten everything squared away. Leaving the scene of an accident is a crime, and you could be charged for committing a hit and run, or face other penalties, especially if there were injuries involved.
Call Your Insurance Company
Make sure you let your insurance company know what happened within 24 hours. Be honest and straightforward about what happened. Don't embellish or omit things. Just tell them what happened as briefly and clearly as possible.
Call a Car Accident Attorney
The next step should always be to contact a car accident attorney. Collecting damages for your medical bills, lost wages, pain and suffering, lost relationships and companionship and other issues can be tricky, especially when you're dealing with insurance companies and their armies of lawyers.
For years, the experienced attorneys at Koberlein Law Offices have helped people just like you get compensated for the injuries they've suffered and regain control of their lives. Give us a call for a free case consultation today.