Follow These Steps
Car accidents can be some of the most stressful and daunting experiences people may encounter. Even if your car accident was minor, navigating the immediate aftermath carefully is crucial to protect you and not incur unwanted costs or liabilities. There are different steps you should take right away, which we will discuss in this blog.
Take Photos of the Accident and Surrounding Areas
It is crucial to take photos of the accident and surrounding area in the immediate aftermath of a car accident. This includes taking pictures of any relevant property damage, including vehicles involved, street signs, and license plates. Photos should be taken from different angles and distances for complete documentation. These photos can then be used for insurance claims and accident reports to ensure all parties involved have access to information that accurately reflects the situation as it occurs. Taking these photos can provide an essential backup during difficult conversations later on.
Seek Medical Attention
Seeking medical attention following a car accident is always incredibly important, even if you don't think you're injured. While injuries in car accidents may not be apparent immediately, the shock of the accident can temporarily mask pain or discomfort. By seeing a doctor promptly after an accident, you can ensure that any injury that went unnoticed immediately after that can be treated appropriately and kept from becoming a significant problem later on. As such, this is one of the most critical steps to take in the aftermath of a crash - take pictures, gather witness statements, and contact insurance companies, but always be sure to seek medical attention first and foremost.
Gather Witness Statements
Gathering witness statements in the aftermath of a car accident can be beneficial as it can provide an objective and unbiased version of events for insurance or legal purposes. Ask any witnesses for their contact information, such as their full name, email address, phone number, and home address. They might also be asked to describe what they saw during the crash. Even if it seems petty, any detail the witness can recall could be helpful later. It is important to remember to get testimonies from eyewitnesses and those driving other vehicles involved in the collision.
Contact Your Insurance Company
After experiencing a car accident, you must notify your insurance company immediately. This step can be done over the phone or online and starts the process of filing a claim. Keep records accessing the details of your conversation, such as contact information and confirmation numbers. In addition, remember to save all relevant paperwork, including the insurance policy itself, to ensure you have all the necessary information for filing a claim. Doing so will help ensure you are up to date with the specifics of your coverage before speaking with your insurance company about the accident.
Collect Bills and Receipts From Any Expenses Related to the Accident
Taking pictures after a car accident is essential for filing an insurance claim or seeking reimbursement, but it isn't all that matters. Just as important is tracking the expenses you accrue in the immediate aftermath of the incident, such as medical bills, vehicle repair costs, and other related expenses. Make sure to keep all receipts and statements related to the accident so that when it comes time to file your insurance claim or seek payment from whoever caused the accident, you're prepared with evidence of your out-of-pocket costs. Gathering this information at the outset can save you time if action needs to be taken further down the line.
File a Police Report
It is essential to file a police report after any car accident, even if it is minor. This helps prove that the accident occurred and can serve as evidence in court if necessary. Filing a police report also serves as formal documentation for insurance purposes, providing you with specifics like the date of the crash and any other insights into who may have been at fault. Remember to ask for a copy of the police report for your records once it has been filed. It can prove invaluable should there be disagreements about liability or damages down the road.
Get In Touch With an Attorney
The moments following a car accident are often some of the most confusing and tumultuous, but they can be better managed with the right steps. If you suffer injuries in a car accident, know that Whiting Hagg & Dorsey, LLP is there to help if you have questions or need assistance.
Learn more about how we can help after a car accident or schedule a case review by calling (605) 519-6136 or visiting our website.