Dealing with the aftermath of an accident can be difficult. The things an accident victim does right after the wreck can either help or harm their ability to receive fair compensation. Knowing the steps to take directly after a car accident will help victims get the compensation they are owed for their injuries and damages.
Car Accidents Are Common
It is estimated around six million car accidents occur across the country each year. One out of four people will be involved in an accident in their lifetime. When accidents arise, injured victims need to take immediate action to begin protecting their health, rights, and peace of mind.
Steps to Take Immediately After an Accident
The crunch of metal and the sounds of shattered glass are frightening. Even a minor fender bender can sometimes cause injuries. After a car accident, there are important steps individuals must take. The following offers information on these steps so individuals can be prepared, should they be involved in an accident.
1. Make sure to stop the vehicle. Never leave the scene of a car accident. If there are injuries and damages, leaving the scene could cause a person to be charged with a crime.
2. Protect the scene of the accident. Put on the hazard lights. Set up flares if they are available.
3. Call the police. A police report is necessary when there are injuries and damages. The police report can be used to help establish fault for the accident.
4. Give accurate information to the police and take notes of any important information. Get the contact information of all drivers involved in the crash and any eyewitnesses.
5. Take pictures and videos of the scene of the accident. Get pictures of any damages to the vehicle and any injuries.
6. Report the auto accident as soon as possible to the insurance company. Give accurate information when giving a statement.
7. Seek immediate medical care for any injuries, no matter how minor. Shock often covers up the signs of injuries for people who have just been in an accident.
8. Consider seeking legal help from an attorney.
Should Accident Victims Hire an Attorney?
While minor fender benders rarely require legal help, a serious accident with injuries may. Injured victims have the right to seek legal counsel for their accident claim. If the injured party decides to work with an attorney, the attorney immediately begins investigating the accident and gathering needful evidence for proving liability on the part of the at-fault driver.
Hiring an attorney does not offer any sort of guarantee for a case outcome, but it does offer great peace of mind. Injured accident victims are more likely to make the right legal decisions when they have at least consulted with a personal injury attorney to get legal guidance.
Many injured victims worry about the costs of hiring an attorney. It is important to note that many personal injury attorneys offer contingency. Contingency means the attorney’s fees are not owed unless the client’s case is won.
Schedule a Consultation
After taking the above steps, injured accident victims should consider scheduling a consultation appointment. A consultation allows injured victims the opportunity to discuss their case and learn about their legal options.
During the consultation, a person should be prepared to discuss their accident in detail and answer any questions asked by the attorney. Getting help from an attorney makes the process of pursuing an accident claim much easier and less stressful.
Interesting Related Article: “Do I Have to Report My Car Accident?“