When you get into a car accident, you first need to obtain critical information to help with a report and claim. If you are physically able, try to get the other driver’s contact, insurance, and driver’s license information and call the police to file a report on the accident.
You can also hire a car accident lawyer from our team to help you build a case against the negligent driver who caused the accident. You may be entitled to pursue compensation if you sustained a bodily injury from the crash, damaged your vehicle or other property, or a vehicle occupant died in the accident.
What to Do at the Scene When You Get in a Car Accident
The following are some immediate steps you can take after getting into an accident.
Stop Your Vehicle
When you get into a car accident, stop your car. In most states, you must stop your vehicle when you get involved in an accident that leads to injury, death, or property damage.
If your car can still move, pull over, turn on its hazard lights, and ensure that you do not block the flow of traffic.
Confirm Whether There Are Any Injuries
Confirm that you, the other driver, and all passengers are okay. If people are injured at the scene, start administering first aid. Even if the injuries seem minor, a doctor might identify other serious injuries that might not be apparent to you.
Call 911 in case of serious injuries. If several people have sustained severe injuries, call the paramedics so that everyone can receive proper medical attention. Inform the operator about where you are and how severe people’s injuries are.
Inform the Police
When you get into a car accident, you will need an official police report. This can also be used as evidence when claiming compensation from your or the other driver’s insurance company.
When informing the police about the accident, tell them your official name and the location of the accident. Additionally, cooperate with the police entirely when they arrive, but avoid issuing statements that might imply you accept responsibility for the accident.
Get the name of the police officer, the police report number, and a copy of the police report.
Get As Much Information As You Can
In case you have a smartphone or a camera, take pictures and videos of the accident scene. Essential photo and video evidence should be on all the vehicles at the scene, the extent of damage, and the position of the cars.
Gather adequate evidence before the police arrive, as they may restrict some activities to avoid contamination of the scene. You also need to collect information from the other driver(s), such as their:
- Full government name(s)
- Address(es) and phone number(s)
- Driver’s license number(s)
- Vehicle plate number(s), color(s), and model(s)
- Vehicle insurance number(s)
If there were witnesses to the accident, ask for their names and contact numbers. It is better to record their statements quickly before they forget, change their mind, or distort what they saw.
Do Not Over-Share or Admit Guilt
When emotions are still running high, you might feel the urge to apologize. However, letting your emotions cloud your proper judgment might make you accept responsibility unknowingly.
As long as the other driver is safe and you have notified the paramedics, avoid any form of interaction with them.
What to Do After You Leave the Accident Scene
After dealing with the present car accident scene, the following are steps you can take to protect yourself and begin building a personal injury case:
Seek Medical Attention
After you leave the scene, double-check yourself for injuries. It is possible to get injuries and not realize it; therefore, seek medical attention sooner rather than later.
After a car accident, you may experience an adrenaline rush, and when it combines with the surrounding commotions, your pain receptors can numb. For example, a concussion is one of the injuries that might not be apparent to you immediately.
Hire a Car Accident Attorney
Car accidents can lead to several forms of damages, so you may want to consider taking legal action against the at-fault driver or liable party. Hiring an attorney from our law firm can be useful if you have never filed a car accident claim or lawsuit before.
Our legal team offers various services to help accident victims like you build their personal injury cases. These services include:
- Identifying the liable party or parties in your accident, meaning you could have more than one claim or lawsuit to file
- Reviewing your car accident report to gather information
- Investigating your car accident to see if there is additional information not written in the report and if other evidence is present to support your case
- Interviewing eyewitnesses and expert witnesses to provide testimony for your case
- Communicating with insurance companies and other involved parties on your behalf
One of our car accident lawyers can also serve as your legal representative when negotiating a potential out-of-court settlement for your case. However, if necessary, they can also advocate for you in court should negotiations come to a standstill.
Call Your Insurance Company
You will need to inform your insurance company about the accident. If you hire our team beforehand, we can report the accident for you and file your claim. Otherwise, try to keep your statements as neutral as possible and avoid admitting any sort of fault, as these statements can be used against you.
Once you retain a lawyer from our team, we can handle communications with both your and the other driver’s insurance company for you. This allows us to protect your case during your pursuit of compensation.
How Our Team Calculates Your Damages After a Car Accident
If you decide to file a car accident claim or lawsuit, we will need to calculate the value of your damages to know how much compensation to demand from the liable party.
We measure your damages by first calculating your financial losses, then factoring in more general losses, such as the physical and emotional pain you endured. These damages may include:
- Medical expenses to treat your injuries, including future costs you’ll have to pay if you are still healing
- Property damage costs, such as to repair or replace your vehicle
- Pain and suffering caused by your injuries
- Losses related to living with a permanent disability caused by the accident
- Physical disfigurement you suffered from the accident
- Income loss related to your injuries
Other damages not listed here may apply toward your financial recovery, which we will discuss with you during your consultation when evaluating your case. You may also be entitled to losses related to a loved one’s death if their car accident injuries were fatal. Our team will remain respectful toward your experience and guide you through this process.
Contact Morelli Law Firm When You Get Into a Car Accident
The process of seeking justice for your injuries when you get in a car accident can be daunting. However, when it happens, stop your car, remain calm, inform the police, and collect evidence. Shortly afterward, seek medical attention and notify your insurance company. Contact Morelli Law Firm for legal guidance on how to handle your case.