The aftermath of a serious car accident can be challenging. Now the crash is over and you’re staring at the surrounding wreckage. You are probably feeling scared, alone, and unsure of what to do next. First, take a deep breath. The accident is over. The worst is done.
Now it’s time to make sure you take care of yourself in every way. You don’t have to pick up the phone and call your personal injury law firm right away—but it should certainly be among the first steps you take. Continue reading to learn more about what you can do after being injured in a car accident.
Always call 911. You might not want to get police involved, especially if you were involved in a “minor” accident. But calling 911 does two things. One, it will send an ambulance over to the scene of the accident.
Two police will arrive at the scene as well. When law enforcement gets there, you can file an accident report. This will be beneficial when you file an insurance claim or bring your case to court later on. Police documenting the scene of the accident will also benefit your case. You’ll be able to obtain photographs, maybe body cam footage, witness information and statements, and other valuable evidence to support your version of how the accident occurred.
Get Medical Attention
Once you have made the 911 call, you need to seek medical attention. An ambulance will likely arrive at the scene. This is your chance to be evaluated by a medical professional. Going to the hospital is always a good idea. This can help to ensure you don’t have any invisible injuries such as a concussion, traumatic brain damage, internal bleeding, or other injuries that could be unnoticeable now but cause you serious harm later on they remain untreated.
You might feel fine now, but you could become seriously ill if you have an invisible injury. It’s better to be safe than sorry. The sooner you are medically evaluated, the stronger your case will be. If you wait to be seen, the defendant could argue your injuries occurred at a later date and they are not responsible for compensating you.
Call a Personal Injury Lawyer
After you have called 911 and been declared medically stable by a healthcare professional, your next call should be to your personal injury lawyer. The sooner you get an attorney on your side, the better. Your lawyer could even arrive at the scene of the accident to start obtaining evidence in certain situations.
While you are recuperating from your injuries, you aren’t going to want to be dealing with pesky legal details and negotiations with the insurance company. You should be healing and spending time with your family. Your lawyer can be your guide through the claims process—something you need when you are feeling confused and unsure of what to do next.
Document the Scene and Gather Evidence
By now, you know the importance of gathering evidence. While you’re waiting for the ambulance, police, and your lawyer to arrive, you can start protecting your case from the beginning.
Take as many photos of all involved vehicles, the area surrounding the accident, the damage to the vehicles, the injuries you sustained, and anything else that might seem relevant at the time. You can also take video footage on your cell phone, ask witnesses to stick around and talk to police, and otherwise start building your car accident lawsuit.