If you’ve suffered a car accident injury, chances are you’re feeling overwhelmed. It can be challenging to think clearly after going through such a traumatic experience.
The next steps are critical. If you have been in a car accident, making the right decisions will help support your injury claim.
Before anything else, ensure the safety of yourself and any passengers. Briefly assess your injuries before securing your passengers. If you experience significant pain while moving around or feel dizzy, you’ll want to avoid moving around too much.
If possible, pull your vehicle off to the side of the road into a well-lit area. Be aware of your surroundings and keep your doors locked if you don’t feel safe. Some situations where you’ll want to remain in your vehicle include when you believe you were purposefully bumped into from the back or were the victim of road rage. Even if you are well off the side of the road, put on your vehicle’s emergency flashers if they still work.
When your vehicle is in a safe place, secure your other passengers. Do not remove babies or toddlers from their car seats. They could have sustained injuries that you don’t see, and the safest place for them until EMTs arrive is in their car seat. If any of your passengers are elderly or disabled, have them remain in the vehicle.
As soon as possible, call 9-1-1. Tell dispatch that you were in a car accident and give them your location as best as possible. If you or your passengers have sustained any injuries, be sure to mention that to the phone operator. Dispatch may have you remain on the phone while sending police and an ambulance to your location.
Any car accident injury could be more severe than you first suspect. Adrenaline is rushing through your body after a traumatic event like a car accident, which can increase your pain threshold temporarily. Always allow medical first responders to assess your condition and encourage passengers to do the same.
Don’t argue if medical first responders believe your injuries are severe and require treatment at your nearest hospital. If you end up filing an injury claim or needing your medical care covered by car insurance, you must follow all instructions and recommendations.
When the police arrive on the scene, they’ll have questions about how the accident happened. These questions will help them file a car accident report, which could be crucial in determining fault. So answer their questions honestly and to the best of your knowledge.
If you’re not grievously injured, be sure you collect the correct information at the accident scene. This will help you file a car insurance claim later. At a minimum, be sure to collect:
If you want to maximize the amount of money you can receive from your claim, you need to be diligent in collecting evidence.
You need to contact your car insurance company as soon as possible. Many car insurance companies allow 24/7 accident reporting, so you can probably start your claim as soon as you get home.
Depending on the time and the company, you may be able to file a claim through an app, website, or over the phone. Starting your claim early can help expedite the process and get your much-needed funds sooner.
As soon as possible, you’ll want to contact a car accident attorney. If you have significant injuries, you’ll want to call a lawyer as soon as you’re released from the hospital. If your injuries aren’t bad enough to admit you to the hospital, contact a lawyer first thing the following morning.
In any car accident where injuries have occurred, you must work with a reputable attorney from the beginning. An attorney can help handle the paperwork, phone calls, and other communications from the other party’s insurance company (and yours). If you need your medical bills covered by car insurance, a lawyer can help ensure your medical claims are paid in full.
Additionally, a lawyer is an invaluable asset if there are any questions on liability and who is that at-fault party. Sometimes the responsibility is easy to determine. For example, if you were hit from behind, the blame will obviously lay with the driver who rear-ended you. On the other hand, who the at-fault driver was is harder to determine when a vehicle is T-boned while turning or side-swiped.
If you’re found at fault for the accident, you could face serious consequences. Fines, points on your driver’s license, increased car insurance rates, and jail time are only a few examples of potential penalties.
It’s easy to feel overwhelmed after suffering a car accident injury. However, it’s crucial you take the above steps. A car accident injury attorney can help you settle your car insurance claim, handle any medical bills, and make the process overall simpler. If you need to speak to a lawyer, remember that the consultation is free.
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