If you get involved in a car accident for the first time, you may not be sure exactly what to do. Thankfully, there are a few specific steps that you should take to get the process of safeguarding your interests started. With that said, every car accident case is unique, so you may need to adapt some of these steps to your circumstances in the event that you’re involved in a crash.
First and foremost – and this cannot be emphasized enough – you need to immediately seek medical care if anyone has been injured. Don’t worry about property damage or anything else until you have called the authorities so that an ambulance can be dispatched to the scene.
Next, it’s important to take pictures of the crash scene to present your case to insurance companies, and possibly a jury. Remember that no insurance company is on your side. These are profit-run businesses on “their own side.” You will need to present evidence, and a company may try to reduce how much it has to pay. The more evidence you can present to support your claims, the better. As far as specific pictures to take, try to get some wider pictures of the accident scene, close-up pictures of damage or injuries and even pictures of identifying information, like a driver’s license or a license plate.
Speaking of identifying information, you’ll also want to talk to the other driver. Present them with your contact information and insurance information. Don’t say anything to incriminate yourself. It’s best not even to apologize for the accident, which could be misconstrued as an admission of guilt.
Get a police report
Once the authorities arrive on the scene, the police officer should make a report, stating what they believe happened and how the accident played out. A copy of this report can be very beneficial to present to an insurance company, along with the photos that you took. It can also be wise to talk to any witnesses at the scene or see if there is video footage from doorbell cameras and things of that nature.
The legal process
These tips can certainly help you immediately after the crash, but they are only the beginning of the legal process. If you’ve been injured in a crash caused by another driver, you may deserve financial compensation. Seeking legal guidance can help to ensure that you’re able to recover what you’re rightfully owed.