The steps to take after a minor accident are not all that different from what you would do after a major accident. For example, though the injuries are likely not as severe, you may still want to seek medical attention and prepare to file a personal injury claim. To put yourself in the best position to file such a claim, here are a few things you should do after a minor car accident:
- Move your car out of the road
- Take pictures at the scene
- File an accident report
- Limit what you say about the collision
- Consider hiring a law firm for your case
Steps to Follow After a Minor Car Crash
After checking that everyone involved in the crash has no major injuries that require immediate care, you can begin taking steps to support your future personal injury claim.
Move Your Vehicle Out of the Road
If your vehicle is blocking traffic, you will want to move it to the side of the road. Moving damaged cars out of the flow of traffic will keep everyone involved safer and reduce the risk of a potential second accident.
If safe to do so, you may want to take photographs of the involved vehicles’ positions before moving them, for evidence purposes. Otherwise, clear the roadway as soon as possible and take photos after.
Take Photos of the Damage and the Scene
Photos of the damage to the vehicles and the area around the crash can help you show what happened later. For example, these pictures could help prove:
- That the vehicle damage occurred from the accident, and not from another incident later
- Which vehicles were involved in the accident
- The state of the scene when the accident occurred
File a Car Accident Report From Law Enforcement
When officers come to the scene of a collision, they generally initiate an accident report. Sometimes, the person who hit you may not want to call the police to investigate the crash. However, you do not have to grant this request.
Having a police report for the accident could make seeking compensation for your damages easier. If you believe you have injuries and may eventually want to file a personal injury claim, a police report can be invaluable evidence, providing information about:
- Who was involved
- The extent of the visible damage
- Any eyewitness accounts
- The officer’s view of what happened
Even if the other driver does not want to call the police, they could later blame you for the crash and file a personal injury claim against you. Having a police report can protect your claim in this case.
Note that state laws often require you to report an accident that results in injuries or a certain level of property damage. Meanwhile, state agencies may encourage you to file an accident report for insurance purposes, rather than calling the police for minor collisions.
Avoid Discussing the Collision in Detail
When discussing the accident with the other driver, law enforcement, or an insurance company, it’s critical to avoid admitting fault or speculating about what happened. Anything you tell police or other witnesses could harm you later in a personal injury claim.
It is fine to say you are unsure or cannot remember certain events from the accident. Our team could then build a case to prove the other driver’s fault after an investigation.
Seek Medical Care Soon After the Accident
You could sustain injuries even in a relatively minor accident, depending on the circumstances. In this case, injuries are not always apparent immediately after the collision. However, a day or two after the crash, you may notice increasing pain and an inability to function as you normally would – you may be unable to go to work or care for your children.
If you do not go to the hospital after the crash, you can see your own doctor instead. Seeing a doctor as soon after the crash as possible creates another critical piece of evidence for your case: medical records that show your injury relates to the accident.
Waiting a few weeks or longer to see a doctor will make it tougher to prove that your injuries came from the crash and not from another incident. You also need a doctor’s proof about the extent of your injuries to determine the amount of compensation you can seek.
Consider Contacting a Personal Injury Attorney
You may want to hire a personal injury attorney to handle even a minor accident case. A lawyer from our team can build a claim to show that the other driver was responsible for the crash and your damages. We can also determine the fairest amount to request in a settlement based on the evidence available. Our other services include:
- Locating and interviewing witnesses
- Compiling evidence
- Submitting paperwork to initiate a claim or lawsuit
- Speaking with insurance companies and other parties on your behalf
The Team at Morelli Law Firm is Ready to Help with Your Case
Our car accident attorneys believe victims should not have to bear the financial burden of other drivers’ negligence. If someone else caused your collision, you have a right to seek a settlement for your injuries, lost wages, and pain and suffering. When you hire our team, we will advocate for this financial recovery.
For a free consultation, call Morelli Law Firm as soon as possible at (212) 751-9800.