Car accidents are stressful circumstances. Emotions are heightened and injuries can be severe. Property damage and personal injuries can occur to drivers, passengers and pedestrians. If you were involved in an accident, there are some important things you should do to ensure your safety and rights are protected.
Remain at the scene
It is vital to stay at the scene of the accident until authorities arrive and coordinate a proper exchange of information. Speaking with other parties involved and the police is important for the process to get worked out. If you leave too soon, you may restrict your legal rights pertaining to injuries or property damage.
Call the police
Proper documentation of the accident by police will help your insurance claims. While you might assume everyone around you is calling the police, you should call them to ensure they are notified. You should also accept any offer of an ambulance if it is medically necessary.
File a police report
Even if you do not immediately feel pain, your adrenaline rush could be preventing you from realizing the extent of any injuries. Insist on issuing a police report even when no drugs, alcohol or immediately noticeable injuries are apparent.
Get medical treatment
If you experience any discomfort or pain following the accident, seek medical attention immediately. Some severe injuries that are common from car accidents are spinal injuries and brain trauma. If you receive medical treatment, keep track of all details including expenses and how you are affected from your injuries.
Notify your insurance company
You should starting a claim with your insurance company as soon as you can. As long as you were not at fault for the accident, it should not negatively impact your driving record. You should also figure out if your policy includes medical benefits for urgent medical care.
Consult a personal injury lawyer
If you got injured in a car accident, securing legal representation is key. An attorney will help you preserve important evidence and assist you in making statements to insurance companies. Typically, the other driver's insurance company will contact you and try to make it seem like the accident was your fault. Legal counsel will help you know what statements to make.