What to Do First After a Car Accident: Know Your Rights

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After an accident, it’s crucial to take the right steps. If someone isn’t severely injured and rushed into emergency medical care immediately, they may have time to gather evidence at the scene, request assistance, and take the next steps to handle the accident properly. If someone is rushed for medical care, they may need to skip some of the steps at the scene of the accident. After receiving care, however, they can report the accident and talk to a lawyer about what to do next. 

Call for Emergency Assistance and to Create a Report

If possible, after a car accident call for emergency services and to have a police officer report to the scene of the accident. Even minor accidents may require a police report. Emergency medical services may be needed to treat injuries at the scene or to transport those who are severely injured from the accident. The police officers will control the scene to prevent further accidents, look into how the accident occurred, and create a report about the accident. 

Get Contact Information for the Other Driver

It is important for the injured person to request the contact information for the other driver, as well as their license plate number and other details that may be needed to file a claim, like their insurance policy number. It is also a good idea to get the contact information for any witnesses at the scene. A lot of this information will also be contained in the police report, but it’s wise to write it down somewhere so it’s available before the police report is finalized and available. 

Take Photos or Videos of the Damage and the Accident Scene

Take as many photos or videos of the damage to all involved vehicles and the accident scene as possible. There is no such thing as too many photos or videos. Once these are taken, make sure they are stored properly to prevent any from being deleted before the case is finished. It is a good idea to store photos in multiple locations so there is always a backup available if it’s needed. 

Contact the Insurance Company to Report the Accident

The injured person will want to contact their insurance company to report the accident. Say as little as possible about the accident at this time and request an adjuster to take a look at the damage done to the vehicle. Don’t speak with the adjuster about what happened when they arrive, just let them take a look at the care and see what has been damaged. 

Speak With a Lawyer About the Accident

Once all of this is done, it’s a good idea to speak with a lawyer about the accident. Most insurance companies will attempt to pay out the smallest amount possible, but a lawyer can help victims gain a much larger settlement. The lawyer will also handle any discussions with the insurance companies or other involved parties to minimize the potential for any mistakes that could reduce the potential settlement. 

If you’ve been in a car accident, make sure you take the above steps. All of this is within your rights after an accident and will give you a better chance of getting a higher settlement. If you ever have questions about your rights or you’d like help filing a claim and receiving a settlement, talk to a lawyer right away. 

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