What To Do After A Car Accident
After a car accident, making phone calls and gathering information is probably the last thing you want to do. You are frazzled. You might be in a little bit of shock. Your adrenaline is pumping. But it is so important just to try to get the basic information you need to help your claim down the line.
At The Sexton Law Firm, we guide people who have been hurt on Southern California freeways and roads through the steps to take after an accident. Here are some things we recommend you do as soon as possible after a car accident.
1. Call 911 and notify the dispatcher that there is an injury in the accident.
Seek medical attention, either through the emergency room or through your local doctor. This is very important because the diagnosis of severe injuries can be delayed if initially you do not have any symptoms and then it can present later. If the injuries are not life-threatening, you need a report taken and a record of what happened. So protect yourself and insist on a police officer to make a report if at all possible. Then order the police report and verify that it is correct. This police report will be vital to your auto accident attorney in handling your claim.
2. Make sure you are not in any further danger at the accident scene.
You want to try to move your vehicle, if it is safe to do so, out of traffic. Do not stand in the roadway. You want to stand on the embankment or as close to the center divider or the shoulder as you can, so you are not hit by any other vehicles or put yourself in harm’s way.
3. Get the names, addresses and phone numbers of all the witnesses
as soon as possible, and keep them in a safe place. Follow up on your witnesses, and store their information and keep them current.
4. Take photographs of vehicles and injuries.
Take photographs at the scene of the accident. If you wait a day later or more, the debris will be cleaned up, skid marks will fade and the vehicles will no longer be in the same resting position. The person who caused the accident may have their vehicle fixed the very next day. You may need these photos to prove how the accident happened, or to prove how severe the accident was. Take pictures that actually show the damage. If you have any bleeding, bruising or injuries that are visible, take pictures of those injuries as well. Injuries can be fixed and resolved, and if you do not take a picture, the insurance company will not believe you. This will allow your car crash lawyer to have indisputable photographic evidence of the accident.