After a Motor Vehicle Accident: All the Steps You Should Take
Because there are countless problems that may persist following a serious motor vehicle accident, there are certain things that the individuals involved should do to protect their rights. This is especially true when injuries are caused by one of the party’s negligent actions.
Taking certain steps allows you to build a strong case strategy when pursuing a car accident claim through the insurance company—or the necessary legal action that may follow. Failure to gather the necessary evidence can be harmful to your case.
While it may be confusing in the moments following a car accident, it’s imperative to remember the various steps that can help you.
Be Aware of the Situation
In some situations, these serious car accidents are caused by specific acts of negligence such as drunk driving. If your crash involved a drunk driver, you want to proceed with caution before approaching the other driver because you don’t want the situation to be escalated.
If you encounter a drunk driver, you want to make sure you wait for law enforcement to arrive before doing anything.
However, if your car accident was caused by another act of negligence—such as distracted driving—you can gather specific information from the responsible party. This can be used on your behalf in building a strong claim.
The Information You Need to Move Forward
Information is an important factor when trying to pursue a successful claim. This is why you and other drivers on the road are supposed to carry your driver’s license and insurance information in the vehicle with you at all times.
These are just two things that you want to gather from the negligent party after the accident. Speak with the responsible driver and ask them to provide the various pieces of information you need. This may include the following:
- Driver’s license information
- Contact information
- License plate number
- Insurance information
These are all items that you want to provide to your insurance company so they can help you with the claim. Your insurance company should help with contacting the other party’s insurance to pursue the compensation you need through the policyholder’s coverage.
Reporting the Accident to the Insurance Company / Law Enforcement
When car accidents involve damage to vehicles and/or significant injuries, it’s important to report the incident to your own insurance company—providing the information you gathered—and law enforcement who will come out and take a statement from you, the other party, and any witnesses.
Failure to report the accident can be a problem for your claim.
However, if you successfully report your accident, you can receive additional evidence that can help you benefit in the claim. The reports and statements taken by law enforcement can be collected later and used to help your pursuit of compensation—as well as through potential legal matters.
Start Takings Pictures of Specific Items
When people say a picture is worth a thousand words, they’re not wrong. And this is absolutely true with regards to car accidents as the pictures you take following the crash can be used to help pursue your claim.
Here are the things you should take pictures of:
- First, take photos of the location where the accident happened, including the circumstances involved. This can include the scene, any tire marks showing the need for the vehicle to use their brakes, and more.
- Second, take photos of the damage done to your vehicle, as well as any other vehicles involved. The location of the damage can help an accident reconstructionist piece together the situation and help to show cause of the accident.
- Third, take photos of any visible injuries that you may have. These can be used to show that you were in fact hurt as a result of the accident.
Focus On Your Health and Recovery
Your health should be one of your top priorities. You want to ensure that you are getting immediate medical attention after the accident, whether by a paramedic or by a doctor. Getting medical attention provides a number of benefits to you.
You can begin your road to recovery and start receiving the treatment necessary. The doctors can diagnose the actual injury or injuries you sustained and may be able to explain how the type of injury may have been caused in the car accident.
Getting medical attention can also prove beneficial to your claim as it provides you with medical records that show you were in fact injured and that it links back to the accident. Medical records are a strong piece of evidence that could aid in your chance to receive compensation.
Protecting Yourself Legally
While you are trying to seek compensation for your damages, the negligent party’s insurance company is looking to protect their own policyholder—even more, they’re trying to protect their profits. The insurance company wants to pay out as little as possible and they use large legal teams to accomplish their goals.
As such, you want to ensure that you have your own legal representation. This is essential in protecting your rights and helping you understand what rights and options you have moving forward.
At Hare Wynn, our car accident attorneys represent clients throughout Birmingham and Lexington. We have strong experience guiding injury victims through the process of pursuing compensation from negligent parties and their insurance company.
If you need legal advocacy to pursue the necessary action against someone who has caused you harm, we’re here for you every step of the way. Trust us to keep your best interests in mind at all times and protect your rights.
Call our firm today at (855) 997-9319 to discuss your potential car accident case.