An accident can easily turn into a personal injury case. To ensure success in one, it is necessary to do certain actions immediately after the accident. In a car mishap for instance, a legal dispute may arise when an individual is hurt or has suffered harm based on the actions of another individual.
When situations like this happen to you, you should immediately check yourself for injuries as well as the well-being of the people in the other car involved, if you are able to do so. You should then move to a safer place, such as the sidewalk, to make sure no further accidents will transpire.
The other tips listed hereunder will also help you overcome a personal injury case and guide you on what to do immediately after the accident.
Tip#1: Call the Police
The first thing you need to do is call 911 and get the assistance of the police. In other states, this procedure is the law. If your injury will render you incapable of doing so, ask somebody else in the scene to make the call. Wait for the police to arrive while staying in a safe position.
It is the role of the police to document the scene and facilitate the creation of the accident report. These are vital if the problem will elevate into a full-blown personal injury case and needed in an insurance claim. Police should be called whether it is a minor collision or a major accident.
It can prove useful to get the details of the responding police officers, such as their names, badge numbers and assigned station. It is advisable that you get a copy of the police report and any other documentation they have relating to the accident.
Tip#2: Take Photos
While waiting for the police officers to arrive and document the scene, you can also do your own documenting buy taking photos. Some of the most important things you should photograph are as follows:
- Photos of the vehicles that figured in the accident, especially yours, taken from all angles and showing all damages;
- License plates of the cars involved;
- Photos of the individuals involved;
- Photos of the injuries acquired;
- Photos of the license and other identification of the other driver, and those of witnesses.
If you have a camera installed in your vehicle, you should remember to safe keep it for use in the investigation that may ensue. It would also be useful to document or list own all actions you take or expenses you make from the time the accident happened.
Tip#3: Speak with Witnesses at the Scene
There are personal injury cases where it is difficult to determine who is at fault and the situation becomes a “he said, she said” case where no one admits fault. In these instances, the role of witnesses becomes significant.
It is therefore essential that you talk to witnesses in the scene and list down all their contact information. If the accident turns into a lawsuit, witness testimonies are valuable.
Tip#4: Get the Other Driver’s Insurance Information
If the injuries you or the other party obtained will allow you to exchange insurance information, do so even while at the scene of the accident. This will come in handy in no time at all and regardless who is at fault. The most pertinent details you should acquire include the following:
- Name and contact number of the insurance company;
- Name, contact number and license number of the driver;
- Policy number;
- Plate number of the other vehicle;
- Location of the accident;
- Model, color, type of the other vehicle, etc.
You should not forget to notify your insurer about the accident and find out what is required from you to be able to file a claim. You also need to keep your communication with your insurer until you recover your losses.
Tip#5: Get the Assistance of a Personal Injury Attorney
Those who experience a vehicular accident the first time are normally surrounded with questions. Some are not even sure if they should call the police or whether or not they can move their vehicle or themselves. An expert personal injury attorney can be a big help in cases like this.
You should consider calling one if you are not sure what to do, especially if major accidents, claims or even lawsuits ensue, calling your attorney will be a big help especially in guiding you on that has to be done while in the scene and what information to gather for use in the processing of the claim.