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What to Do After a Car Accident

There are many ways to avoid a car accident; however, once you are involved in one, it is imperative to understand the proper steps to take afterward. Due to how emotionally overwhelming and traumatic these collisions can be, remembering what to do can help ensure you file a claim in order to receive compensation for any damages or injuries you have suffered as a result of the crash.

Step 1: Move to a Safe Area (If Possible)

If the car accident is relatively minor, move vehicles out of traffic to a safe location. Park your vehicle, turn off the engine, and turn on the safety hazards. If moving your car isn’t an option, turn on your hazard lights to warn other motorists to move around the scene of the crash.

Step 2: Check for Injuries

Check yourself for any injuries, then check your passengers if they suffered any harm. If any serious injuries are evident, seek immediate medical attention by contacting an ambulance.

Step 3: Call the Police

Even if there are only minor injuries involved in the collision, it is wise to contact law enforcement. An officer can provide a police accident report that can be used as valuable evidence when dealing with car insurance companies and other parties. Only describe how the accident occurred and avoid admitting fault or blaming the other drivers involved. If you do not know the facts, let the officer know. Allow law enforcement to objectively determine who is to blame and how the events transpired.

Step 4: Gather Information

Collect the following information from others involved in the crash:

  • Names and contact information (i.e. phone numbers and addresses) of drivers and passengers involved, as well as eyewitnesses
  • Vehicle descriptions (i.e. make, model, year, and color)
  • License plate numbers
  • Driver’s license numbers
  • Insurance companies and policy numbers
  • Police officer’s name and badge number
  • Accident scene address and/or location

Step 5: Document the Scene

Whether you use the camera on your smartphone or a portable digital version, take photographs of the accident scene. Pictures are considered one of the most convincing pieces of evidence in a car accident claim or personal injury lawsuit. Snap photos of each vehicle, the damage involved (both exterior and interior), license plates, any injuries, skid marks, road conditions, street signs and traffic lights, and the entire scene of the collision.

Step 6: Report the Accident

Notify your insurer and start the claims process immediately at the scene. Just like speaking to the police, only provide the basic details and do not admit fault. If you are too upset by the accident, sometimes a police officer and provide your insurance company with more accurate information.

Step 7: Hire an Attorney

If you have been injured in the crash, you must consult an experienced car accident lawyer. An attorney can protect your rights and best interests against other parties and insurance companies. He/she can determine your available legal options and help you obtain compensation for your injuries and property damage.

Schedule a Free Consultation with our Charlotte Car Accident Lawyer Today

With more than 100 years of collective experience, our Charlotte personal injury attorneys at Price, Petho & Anderson understand what it takes to maximize your injury settlement to ensure you are receiving the best medical treatment available. If you are worried about paying attorney fees, we work on a contingency fee basis, meaning you don’t have to pay us anything unless we win your case.

For more information, contact us and speak with our skilled legal team today.

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