8 Steps to Take After a Car Accident
Over six million car accidents occur each year in the United States. Fortunately, most of them involve only property damage as opposed to the occupants.
But one in three accidents does involve personal injury to the driver or passengers, and out of that number, two out of every ten accidents lead to fatal injuries.
If you are involved in an automobile accident, there are certain things you can do to protect yourself and your interests.
You can obtain a lot of crucial evidence at the scene of the accident, but it doesn't stop there.
In the days following a car accident, you will need to be diligent about documenting your injuries and all other damages.
Many injury victims choose to work with an experienced car accident lawyer who can help with this.
In the article below, we will go over several things you should do in the days following your accident.
Wondering when you are able to get back to your normal life? Read our blog post: "Preparing to be Back to Work After a Car Accident."
Table of Contents
- See a Doctor
- Document Your Injuries
- Keep Detailed Records
- Get A Copy of the Police Report
- Notify Your Insurance Company
- Prepare to File Your Personal Injury Claim
- Get Legal Advice
- Car Wreck Doctor
See a Doctor
Many common car accident injuries do not show up full-force the day of the accident. Sometimes, it can take a day or two or longer, in some cases, to feel the full extent of your injuries.
So, you should see a doctor as soon as you can after the crash. If you do notice more pain after seeing your doctor, go back for a follow-up.
There are two reasons for this:
- A doctor can examine you for all injuries and help you treat them before they worsen. It might save you some pain and lower your overall costs of treatment.
- Seeing a doctor soon after the accident will help confirm to the insurance company that your injuries are directly related to the accident. It will also create a record of all doctor visits and treatment to include in your claim.
Document Your Injuries
Write a journal or compile a photo album documenting the progression of your injuries, as it can further confirm a doctor's medical opinion that you are injured.
Showing what you are experiencing over time can reveal the impact that these injuries are having on your daily life.
Keep Detailed Records
Have a folder where you keep all your accident-related documents, such as doctor's notes and medical bills, that demonstrate your costs. Your folder should contain:
- Your insurance claim number
- The name of the insurance adjuster on your claim
- Receipts of all expenses from the accident
- Names and contact information for all relevant contacts
Get a Copy of the Police Report
Requesting a copy of the police report is critical to your personal injury and property damage claim. Insurance companies will look at this report to determine fault and apportion liability for damaged property.
For personal injury claims, this report is equally important as insurance adjusters also look at this document first.
Try to obtain a copy of the police report as promptly as possible. Typically, police reports are usually available within 72 hours of the accident.
Once you have acquired the police report, read it over to ensure its accuracy. If you find the details to be inaccurate, you may contact the police department and request to get it corrected.
If you were cited for a moving violation after the accident, you might want to consider fighting it in traffic court as it can affect your claims.
Insurance companies can use this moving violation to claim that you were negligent and reduce the damages to which you are entitled. Additionally, this violation could increase your insurance premiums.
Notify Your Insurance Company
Most of the time, you will need to contact your own auto insurance company to report the accident. You don't need to tell them everything. Just tell them the facts of the accident.
They may also be able to help if the other driver is uninsured, underinsured, or left the scene of the accident without providing their information.
Prepare to File Your Personal Injury Claim
If the other driver was at fault, you would also need to actually file your insurance claim for compensation for your damages. In most states, you have two years from the date of your accident to do this.
Don't get complacent; that time goes by quickly.
It's best to get started right away by doing the above steps and reaching out to a car accident lawyer who can help.
Get Legal Advice
Consulting with a lawyer may be the most beneficial step you can take in the days following a car accident. Car accident insurance claims can become stressful and complicated quickly.
Plus, the other driver's insurance company will likely try to contact you for statements immediately.
Having an experienced lawyer on your side will ensure each step you take is carefully planned with your best interests in mind. Even just scheduling a consultation can help you understand the details of your case and what your best options are.
Car Wreck Doctor
Car Wreck Doctor has a simple mission. They will connect you with professional Medical Doctors, Chiropractors, and Personal Injury Attorneys that are trusted in your local area.
They worry about the entire process so you don't have to.
They go through an elaborate vetting process with each doctor and attorney they attach our name to. This provides each of their patients and clients with the assurance of getting the highest level of service possible.
Contact Car Wreck Doctor today by clicking the button below.
They will find professionals who can make you whole again after you have suffered an injury due to a motor vehicle accident.