According to the latest car accident statistics, an auto accident occurs as often as every three minutes. But, they happen so suddenly and quickly that many are unsure as to what steps they should take in the aftermath of such a traumatic event. Because car accidents could result in severe injuries and critical evidence can be cleared away very quickly, it is important to know what steps you need to take after a crash, particularly to make sure your legal rights are protected.
The severity of your injuries largely determines how long after a car accident you will experience pain. Pain management and claim protection should be every car accident victims' top priorities.
8 Steps to Take After a Car Accident
Here are eight important steps you would be well advised to take if you have been involved in a car accident.
1. Make sure everyone is safe.
The first step to take after an accident is to make sure you and everyone else with you is safe. If possible, move the vehicle over to the side of the road – but only if it is safe to do so. If anyone has been injured, call 911 so they can get speedy attention and first aid or medical care.
2. Call the police.
Even if there are no apparent injuries or damages, it is important that you call the police so they can create an official report of the car accident. This provides crucial documentation of the car accident when you have to file a claim with the insurance company. The details within a police report can also help strengthen your car accident claim. It is also crucial that you secure a copy of this report for your records. Your personal injury lawyer can also help you get a copy of the police report, which could contain critical information that could be invaluable for your case.
3. Exchange pertinent information with other involved parties.
It is important to ensure that you get information from others involved in the crash including their names, addresses, contact information, driver's license numbers and insurance details. Write down the make, model, color, year and license plate numbers for all vehicles involved. Get names and contact information for anyone who may have witnessed the crash.
4. Take photos and video.
Pictures can capture what a thousand words cannot. Use your cell phone to take photos of the accident scene as well as videos. Try to get images of the vehicles, their position on the roadway, traffic signs, etc.
5. Be conscious of what you say.
In the immediate aftermath of a car accident, you may still be dazed and confused. You may even be angry. However, it is important to remain as calm as possible. Do not apologize for the accident or admit fault. Anything you say at the scene of the accident can be used against you and could even jeopardize your case in the future.
6. Get prompt medical attention.
Whether or not you feel like you've been injured, it is important that you see your doctor after the accident. If you feel pain or have any apparent injuries, go to the emergency room right away. The adrenalin rush you feel after an accident could possibly mask injuries or symptoms. So, it is important that you seek medical attention. Doing so helps ensure that you are on the path to recovery and also creates documentation to show what injuries you sustained and what type of treatment you received.
7. Don't share any details on social media.
It is best not to share any details of your car accident on social media or online. This is because anything you say online can and probably will be used against you. Even though you believe your account is private, a lot of posts on your social media page could be visible to others. Never take anything for granted. It's best to stay safe and refrain from posting any details online.
8. Contact an experienced Los Angeles car accident lawyer.
If you have been injured in a car accident, it is important to reach out to an experienced attorney who is skilled at handling car accident claims. You should also consult with your lawyer before you make any statements to insurance companies, which won't have your best interest at heart. Insurance companies are more focused on maximizing their profits and often, they do that by minimizing the value of your claim.
Why You Need a Lawyer
One of the most common mistakes car accident victims make is to rush into a settlement with an insurance company. Many are eager to put the unpleasantness behind them as quickly as possible. As a result, they are tempted to take the first settlement that is offered to them. But, once you sign that agreement, you cannot claim any more compensation. For example, if you are required to undergo back surgery related to the injury months after you sign the agreement, you won't be able to claim any of those expenses because your case has been closed. Back pain after a car accident may result in a need for life-time care.
If you or a loved one has been injured in a car accident, you may be able to receive compensation for damages such as medical expenses, lost income, hospitalization, cost of rehabilitative treatment, permanent injuries, disabilities, pain and suffering and emotional distress. The experienced Los Angeles car accident lawyers at the Vaziri Law Group will fight for you every step of the way. We will analyze all aspects of an incident and help you secure maximum compensation for your losses. Call us at (310) 777-7540 to schedule your no-cost consultation and case evaluation.