When you are in a car accident, there are steps you can take to increase your chances of receiving compensation for any injuries or property damage you sustain in the wreck. Here are five easy steps you should be sure to take immediately after a car wreck:
Step One - Call the Police
Always call the police after a car accident. Even if you think no one is injured and there is only minor damage to the vehicles, it is important to have police on the scene as soon as possible. When the Police arrive, they will:
- Ensure safety
- Take control of the scene
- Call for immediate medical attention if necessary
- Identify witnesses
- Take and record statements relevant to liability
Step Two - Exchange Information
Always exchange information with the other party to the accident. Other than exchanging information, however, do not interact with the other party. Use your cell phone to take pictures of the other party’s:
- Driver’s license
- Insurance card
- License plate
- Physical condition (if possible)
Any information you collect will help us identify additional evidence to prove that the other driver was at fault. It is important to preserve as much evidence as possible. We will immediately demand that the other party not dispose of their damaged vehicle or cell phone after the accident. The data recorded on the vehicle and the phone may contain information that helps us to identify and prove the cause of the accident.
Step Three - Talk to Witnesses
Sometimes the most reliable source of evidence that proves the other driver was at fault is the testimony of witnesses. Try to take note of who was present when the accident occurred. Speak to anyone who may have seen the accident when it happened.
- Ask all witnesses for their contact information
- Give the witnesses your contact information
- Ask them for their cell phone numbers
- Ask them to state what they observed
- Ask the witnesses to make a statement to the police
Witnesses will remember details of the accident better now than they will later. Try to get statements from the witnesses or make sure the police get their statements.
Step Four - Take Pictures
In addition to taking pictures of the other driver’s information, take pictures of the scene and the surrounding area. Pictures may help us identify additional information that may be critical to your case. This may include:
- Witnesses you did not speak to at the scene
- Any nearby traffic signals or signs
- Any businesses or houses that may have video surveillance equipment that captured the accident on video
- The damage to the vehicles
Pictures capture what the mind forgets. Try to take pictures of everything and everyone at the scene.
Step Five – Get Medical Attention
It is a fact that the insurance company will be significantly more skeptical of your injuries if it took a long time for you to go get medical assistance after a wreck. In fact, the longer you wait to seek medical attention after a wreck, the more likely it is that the insurance adjuster will assert that the injury you are claiming was unrelated to the wreck and was not the fault of the defendant.
Additionally, even if you are injured during the wreck but were delayed in seeking medical treatment, the opposing party may assert that the injury you are claiming could not have been very serious at all if you did not even feel the need to seek medical assistance right away. This also can be problematic and can affect your ability to be compensated for your injuries.
Step Six - Contact Our Experienced Car Accident Lawyers To Request a Free Initial Consultation
Once you have taken these steps and the scene is cleared, contact us at Foster Wallace so that we can begin the process of:
- Proving that the other driver was at fault
- Making sure you receive proper medical attention and treatment for your injuries
- Dealing with the insurance companies to obtain for you maximum compensation for your damages
Personal injury actions can be quite a journey. But if you can take the five steps outlined here, we will handle every detail and navigate every detour that lies ahead, so that you can focus on your recovery. You do not have to take this journey alone. Foster Wallace will be with you every step of the way.