The First Steps to Take After a Car Accident
October 31st, 2019 by Attorney John Colvin
Being involved in a car accident can be a frightening and traumatic experience, especially for those who sustain serious injuries. It’s still important, however, for motorists who find themselves in this position to take certain steps, including seeking medical attention, obtaining the contact information of the other parties involved, and retaining an attorney. To learn more about what steps to take after an accident, or for help filing a personal injury claim against the person who caused your crash, please contact an experienced vehicle accident lawyer who can explain your legal options.
Checking on Other Drivers and Passengers
Before assessing property damage or attempting to collect contact information, it is important for those who have been involved in a car accident to determine whether any of the parties require medical attention. In the event that a person is suffering from an injury, the driver should quickly call emergency responders.
Calling Law Enforcement
In most cases, it’s a good idea for car accident victims to call the police following their crash, especially in cases that involve a significant amount of property damage or physical injury. Officers who respond to car accidents will then file a police report, a copy of which the parties should obtain when possible, as these reports often provide crucial information when determining who was at fault for a collision.
After ensuring everyone’s safety and contacting law enforcement, motorists who have been involved in a car crash should be sure to exchange contact information with each other, including their:
- Driver’s license numbers;
- License plate numbers; and
- Basic insurance information.
During this process, it is important to refrain from apologizing or saying anything that could be considered an admission of fault. Taking note of any witnesses who saw the accident occur is also encouraged following an accident, as is obtaining those individuals’ contact information.
It’s also important to begin collecting evidence as soon as possible after a car accident, which includes taking photographs at the scene of the accident (if it can be achieved safely), as well as recording any damage sustained by the vehicle, or physical injuries suffered by the injured party. This type of evidence can play a critical role in demonstrating a link between a plaintiff’s injury and a specific accident.
Contacting Your Insurance Agency
Motorists who have been involved in a car accident should promptly notify their insurers of the collision. Later, the insurer will require specific information, including details about how and why the accident occurred. It’s crucial for motorists to be honest with their insurer when reporting an accident, as failing to do so could result in the denial of their claim altogether.
Retaining Medical Records
Visiting a doctor after a car crash is one of the best ways to determine the severity and type of accident-related injury. Keeping track of appointments, bills, and medical records for all injuries is also important, as it can help juries and judges determine the amount of a damages award.
Reach Out to a Tennessee Personal Injury Attorney Today
To learn more about your legal options following an accident, please contact Winchester, TN personal injury lawyer John R. Colvin at (877) 594-8956 today.