Getting into a car accident is an unfortunate circumstance for anyone who is forced to experience it. When this happens, there are some important steps accident victims should take as soon as possible right after the accident happens. These common-sense guidelines will help accident victims get a better understanding of what should be done right after an accident.
Do not leave the scene of an accident you are involved in until you are instructed to do so by a law enforcement officer, even if the accident is not your fault. Leaving the accident scene can result in criminal penalties, such as being charged with a hit-and-run. If you leave an accident that causes property damage, injuries, or death, stay at the accident scene until all proper procedures have been completed.
If you are not seriously injured, the first thing you should do is ensure that all other drivers and passengers are okay. If injuries have occurred, call for qualified medical attention. Do not attempt to move any drivers or passengers if they are unconscious or have pain in their neck or back unless an imminent danger exists such as a vehicle fire or threat of falling over a cliff.
All drivers involved in the accident should exchange names, addresses, phone numbers, license plate numbers, driver’s license numbers, and insurance information. Try your best to be cooperative and cordial when speaking with other drivers. However, do not apologize for the accident, as you may be holding yourself to legal liability before the true cause of the accident is determined.
If you sustain injuries, keep track of doctors, chiropractors, physical therapists, and any other medical professionals that provide you with treatment. Request copies of medical bills from hospitals, labs, and other medical providers. Keep detailed notes of any medications or treatments you receive. In the event you need to sue a negligent driver, this information will help to recover all your medical expenses. With the help and guidance of an experienced personal injury lawyer, it does not have to feel like a hopeless situation.