Your Post-Accident Checklist
Brian White | July 17, 2018 | Auto Accidents
The moments following a car crash can be overwhelming. It can be difficult to keep a calm head and gather information under the chaos and stress of the event. However, your actions following a car accident could affect the viability of your car accident claim and even your right to compensation. Take the following actions following a car accident.
Check on Other Drivers and Passengers
First, check to make sure everyone involved in the accident is okay, including the passengers and drivers of the other vehicle. Contact emergency services if necessary and pull your vehicles over to the side of the road to let traffic pass, if possible.
Common courtesy dictates a certain amount of politeness when talking to the other parties involved in a car accident. It’s important to keep a calm head and be polite but careful about what you say. Something as simple as an apology could be tantamount to admitting fault. It’s best to limit your interaction with the other driver to inquire about their well-being and exchanging insurance information.
The next step, while waiting for the police to arrive, is to collect as much information as you can about the accident and the scene. Some information you’ll want to collect from the other driver includes:
- Insurance information
- License plate
- Driver’s license information, if possible
- Make, model and color of the vehicles involved
- Photos of any damage to the vehicles or property
Additionally, you’ll want to gather information from any eyewitnesses to the crash, if possible. Ask for the following information:
- Phone number
- Email address
If you’re too injured to gather any of this information or you require emergency care, don’t worry. A police officer will likely request most of this information and put it in his or her police report.
Provide a Statement for the Police Report
The police will respond to the scene of an accident and compile a police report that includes an initial designation of fault. As such, it’s important to be as detailed in your account of the accident as possible. Be thorough and include any relevant information, such as if you saw the other driver texting. However, be careful not to embellish your account of the crash. Stretching the truth could affect your insurance claim.
Seek Medical Care, if You Haven’t Already
If you sustain any type of injury following a car accident, seek medical care as soon as possible. Even if you feel fine, some injuries, such as whiplash, might not fully present until hours after the crash. Visit a doctor if you’re experiencing any pain. Head trauma resulting in dizziness, disorientation, or headache merits a visit to your local emergency department.
It’s also imperative to follow all your provider’s orders regarding testing, treatment, and follow-up care. Adherence to your treatment plan could affect your personal injury settlement, – for example, you don’t want to give the defense any reason to tell a jury that your injuries are not as bad as you claim. For your own safety and for the sake of your future car accident claim, seek treatment and follow your doctor’s orders.
Contact An Accident Attorney
Finally, any injury-causing car accident merits scheduling a free initial consultation with a Houston car accident attorney. These case evaluations will give you an idea of your legal options and if you should pursue a claim for compensation.
The events of a car accident can be chaotic, but it’s important to keep a level head. Follow this post-accident checklist to protect yourself and your right to compensation following a car accident.