What Should I Do After an Accident?
It’s something that occurs countless times across the nation each day: car crashes. They’re completely unexpected and impossible to completely prevent. The most you can do is focus on your own driving and your safety. The actions of everyone else, though, is an uncertainty. When they do happen, it can leave the victim lost and confused, wondering what they should do next. Luckily, there are certain things that you can do after a collision to help protect yourself – but there are also some things that you should avoid. In the interest of preparedness, we have provided an overview of some of the steps you should take after an auto collision.
Don’t Say Sorry
While this list will have things you should do after an accident, the first one is something you should refrain from doing. No matter the situation, even if you feel you may have been at fault, you should never say you are sorry after a crash. By doing so, it is essentially an admission of guilt and can be used against you when it comes to establishing who was at fault. You will want to calmly take the next steps without saying sorry, or without making any other statements such as “I didn’t see you there” or “I thought I was clear.”
Check On All Parties Involved
The first thing you should do is to make sure you are not injured. Then, make sure that the passengers in your vehicle are okay as well. Once you have done that, check the passengers in the other vehicle. If everybody is okay, simply continue the process. If someone is seriously harmed, you will want to request paramedics so the injured party can get the attention they need. If you are not too badly injured, you can ask to see the other driver’s license, their insurance card, and registration.
Call the Proper Authorities
In some situations, the proper authorities may need to come out and help with the situation if things become heated between the two parties or if the crash is bad enough. The authorities can also help by taking the details from both parties and any potential witnesses to form an accident report. If the witnesses’ statements show that the other party was at fault, it could help you and your case. This is especially true in the case of a hit and run accident in which the other driver flees. Call the police immediately and report the incident to your insurance company right away.
Document Your Injuries
If you are injured, you should make sure they are documented. Take pictures if possible to show their location and severity. This can be shown to authorities, insurance providers, and any other party who may be involved in the resolution of your case.
Take Photos of the Scene and Vehicles
Any evidence that you can photograph to help prove your case can be beneficial. This includes taking a picture of the vehicle to show where the damage is, taking pictures of the other vehicle, and photographing the scene of the crash to show any evidence of speeding or other negligent factors. In some cases, fault can be shown based on the location of the damage to each car. Take photos of the exterior of the vehicle that includes the license plate number in there for confirmation regarding the identity of the car. Also, if the air bag deployed or if the interior of the vehicle has been damaged, take pictures of those areas as well.
See a Paramedic
When the paramedic is there, get checked out. Even if you feel that you don’t have any injuries, remember that crashes can often induce adrenaline which would make you feel like nothing is wrong with you. Some injuries may not manifest for days or even a week after the collision occurs. Having some kind of medical record can be beneficial in helping you prove the other party was at fault and that you were in fact hurt as a result of the crash.
Remember, it is important to not speak with the insurance company of the at-fault driver without the help of legal counsel. Also, if the crash may have been caused, by some defective part, you should keep the vehicle. Do not transfer the title to the insurance company regarding the property damage settlement. Keep it to yourself and speak with your counsel first. Auto collision cases can be complex and require swift action to preserve any evidence involved. This is why you have to act quickly after a collision and speak with a Philadelphia auto accident lawyer about your situation.
Call The Beasley Firm to discuss your potential lawsuit.