No one wakes up in the morning planning or expecting to get in a motor vehicle accident. When you’re in an accident, it can be hard to know what to do. You need to take care of your safety and begin to preserve evidence. Here’s what you should do if you’re in a motor vehicle accident:
1. Secure your immediate safety
If the crash occurs on a busy road, you may need to move to immediate safety. If your hazard lights still work, turn them on. For a minor crash, you may be able to move your vehicle out of the lane of travel.
Stop your vehicle at the scene. If you can’t stop immediately at the scene, stop where it’s safe and then return. The most important thing is to make sure that you don’t suffer any additional injuries by remaining on a busy road. Pay attention to your surroundings as you evaluate your injuries and the crash.
2. Contact emergency services
It’s important to make sure that you get any necessary emergency medical care. Don’t hesitate to call 911 if someone’s hurt. Even if you don’t need medical attention, you need to report the crash to the police.
A police report is important for working with the insurance company. It’s also important to your personal injury attorney as they begin to build your case for recovery. The police can talk to witnesses and gather evidence. This information can be critical later on in your case. The police are trained professionals, and they might ask some good questions that you might not think to ask.
3. Gather witness information and evidence
After a crash, you should get as much information as possible from witnesses. If the other person involved is approachable, ask them for their name, address, phone number and insurance information. Ask each witness for their name and contact information. Even if a person tells you that they don’t have anything helpful to offer, something they see might be important later on in the case. In addition, if you have a phone with you, snap a few photos. If you’re injured, take photos of your injuries as well as the damages to all of the vehicles.
4. Write down what you remember
It’s easy to forget important details only a short time after the crash. Writing it down can help you reference it later on. The statement may not be admissible in court, but you can probably refer to it to refresh your recollection.
5. Hire a great attorney
It’s time to get your personal injury attorneys working for you. Your attorneys may begin by demanding records from the police. They may contact witnesses for statements. Your attorney can take over working with the insurance companies.
As soon as you hire your attorney, they can start helping you build your case. You may need to go see a physician or other medical expert for an examination of your injuries and evaluation of your current and future limitations. Your attorney may produce a subpoena that orders the other driver to sit for a deposition and testify under oath about the crash. They might order the other driver’s motor vehicle record to see if they’ve been a good driver in the past. The sooner you work with an personal injury law firm, the sooner you have an experienced advocate on your side. This can help you recover fairly for your injuries and rebuild your life.
6. Work with your doctors and your attorney
To build your case, you need to carefully follow your health care provider’s treatment plan. This helps your attorney create a record and demonstrate the extent of your injuries. It’s also important to be honest with your attorney about any emotional suffering that you may have. Mental health injuries are a real and often devastating loss after a motor vehicle accident. Many times, your attorney can help you fight for fair compensation.
Working with your attorney can help you meet deadlines to file your case in the appropriate court to seek compensation. Together, you can create goals for your litigation and a plan to achieve them. Following these important steps can help you put your life back together as soon as possible.