What Should I Do After a Car Wreck?
The moments after a car accident are always chaotic. After all, no one plans for a collision to happen. However, that doesn’t mean that you can’t prepare yourself. By following a few simple steps, you can save yourself a lot of headaches down the line.
Always remain at the scene. If you are involved in a car accident, you should attempt to move your vehicle out of the roadway and into a safe area. If your car is inoperable, remain inside until it is safe to exit and contact the authorities. Whatever you do, don’t flee the scene. Fleeing after a car accident that causes injuries is a crime in the State of Texas. Rather, you should stay at the scene so that you can exchange insurance information with the other parties involved.
Remain calm. There are few things more frightening than a car wreck. In the immediate aftermath of an incident, emotions will be running high. Take a deep breath, and try to remain as calm and composed as possible. Avoid altercations. Listen and document the scene and situation as best you can.
Call the police. Even for seemingly minor incidents, it is in all parties’ best interest to contact the police and create an official record of the incident. As car wreck attorneys we have seen this situation arise too often. It is not uncommon for people to not feel pain at the scene of a car wreck due to adrenaline. So, a person may think it is no big deal and will avoid involving the police. Then, later that day the pain begins to become apparent. If you do not have a police report of the event, you will be missing out on a key piece of helpful evidence.
Take pictures of the damage. When you have been involved in an auto accident, you need to document everything you can. One of the best ways to do this is through photographs and video. In the event of a dispute after the wreck, photographs from the scene will be invaluable. Cell phones are very helpful to car accident injury claims.
Seek medical treatment. If you feel you have been seriously injured in a car crash, do not hesitate to call an ambulance or get emergency medical treatment as soon as possible. However, even if you don’t believe that you have been seriously injured, it is still a good idea to get yourself checked out by a medical professional within 24 hours of the incident. Oftentimes, car wrecks cause injuries that we can’t see, the most common of which are concussions and soft tissue damage. These injuries might not be apparent right away. By seeking medical treatment after a car or truck accident, you can give yourself peace of mind in addition to creating an official record in the event you begin to develop more symptoms.
Call your insurance company. Many insurance companies require that you notify them of any accidents within a certain amount of time. Calling your insurer after a car wreck will initiate the claims process and, hopefully, set you on the road to being made whole.
Consider calling a lawyer. Car wreck claims can be difficult to navigate. An experienced personal injury lawyer will know how the insurance companies operate, and will be able to provide you with the advice you need to receive fair treatment and the recovery you deserve. Car wreck lawyers may also be able to provide you with medical treatment options that would avoid you having to pay out of your own pocket for medical treatment.