What is the first thing you do when you get in a car accident
The first thing you should do after getting into a car accident is dial 911. Tell the dispatcher where you are, that you were in an accident and that you need police to arrive immediately. Stay on the phone and, if it is safe, then get out of your car and check on the other driver and their passengers. Although it’s very hard, try to stay calm and follow any directions that the dispatcher gives you.
What other steps should I take after an accident?
St. Louis personal injury lawyers Hipskind & McAninch say that once you have called 911, there are other things you should do at the scene of the accident and in the days, weeks, or months that follow.
Give A Statement To The Police
After a car accident, you will be asked to give a statement to the police officer. Do not apologize or admit guilt for the accident, lie to the police officer, or incriminate yourself. If you admit guilt, then you’ll be held liable for damages. Never admit fault, regardless if it is evident that the accident was your fault. Only state the facts based on what you saw, which direction each vehicle was traveling leading up to the accident, where the cars ended up, and if there is anything unusual that you want to include, like an animal crossing the road.
It will be helpful in your personal injury claim, later on, to have contact information for the witnesses, but it is imperative that you get the following information from the other driver:
- Their name
- Email address
- Phone number
- License plate number
- Car insurance information
Before you leave the scene of the accident, you must take photos of where it happened and where the cars ended up. To be most helpful in your personal injury case, take both close-up shots and wide shots of the accident scene to capture the details and the entirety of the accident area. Once first responders clean up after the accident, you will never be able to re-create what happened. Taking pictures and videos can help establish liability by showing the damage to the cars and how the force of the impact affected where they ended up.
See A Doctor
You should immediately accept any medical attention from paramedics and go to the nearest emergency room to be assessed for injuries to your back, neck, brain, and internal organs. You could be injured even if you feel fine. Keep a journal over the following days and weeks that describes how you feel, any pain, and other symptoms. Follow your treatment plan as instructed, and keep a copy of your medical bills and invoices.
Hire An Attorney
An experienced personal injury attorney will help you understand the next steps you need to take to recover damages after your car accident. They can explain your rights under the law and prevent you from taking a bad deal from the insurance company, which is likely to offer you a settlement that’s lower than you deserve. Your attorney builds your case using evidence and then negotiates with the insurance company on your behalf.