Car accidents are the last thing anyone expects, but when they do happen, you need to be prepared to ensure that you have your medical and legal bases covered. The following are 5 key things you need to do when you get into a car accident.
#1: Call the police
When you are in a car accident, the best thing to do is call the police to report the accident. A police officer will begin an official record of the accident, which will be necessary down the line for any insurance and legal purposes. Most insurance companies will require an official accident report in order to process a claim, since it can provide evidence of what actually happened in the accident.
#2: Do not leave the scene unless you need emergency medical treatment
Never leave the scene of a car accident unless you need emergency medical treatment that requires you to leave the scene with first responders. You need to stay at the scene for legal purposes; not only will this create a necessary record at the scene, but staying at the scene will eliminate the possibility of any "hit and run" charges. Staying at the scene is also essential so that a police officer can create an official record of the accident, and so that you can get important information yourself before anyone leaves.
#3: Get all of the necessary information
Although a police officer will create a report with details, names, and so forth, you need to get important information yourself so that you have the details on hand. Accident reports created by police officers may take weeks to obtain, and your own records can help you get started on your claim and any legal processes early on. You need to get the following information from the other party or parties: name, address, phone number, email address if possible, driver's license numbers, license plate numbers; insurance company name and policy numbers. Do not forget to get a name and phone number for anyone who has witnessed the scene.
#4: Take photos
Photographs are a crucial part of insurance claims and any potential legal battles after a car accident. You should take photos of everything you can at the scene, including any damage on all vehicles involved, as well as photographs depicting the entire scene of the crash. You may also want to take photos of any visible physical damages you receive, although taking photos of the actual crash scene should be your number one priority.
#5: Contact a lawyer
Car accidents can result in both insurance claims and serious personal injuries that you could be compensated for, but getting the personal injury compensation you are entitled to can be a difficult task. The best way to handle personal injuries and other claims after a car accident is to contact a law firm that deals with car accidents and personal injuries to ensure that you have proper legal representation. A lawyer will be able to fight to ensure that you get the compensation you are entitled to after an accident.
For more information, contact the experienced personal injury attorneys at Seaman and Associates.