9 things to do after an accident

There are about 10 million accidents each year in the United States and one in three accidents involve personal injury to the driver or passengers. If you are someone that is involved in an accident, there are certain steps that you can take to protect yourself and your interests. I have put together a list of 9 steps that you should take in the unfortunate chance that you are involved in an accident:

  1. Stop and get to safety- You never want to leave the scene of an accident, even if it’s a minor one. If you’re not too hurt to move, get your car over to a safe area where it can be out of harm’s way, if you’re not able to move your car, turn on the hazards and get yourself to safety.
  1. Check others-  Make sure that none of your passengers, pedestrians and/or people involved in the accident are seriously injured. If they are, call for emergency medical attention or ask a bystander to call for help.
  1. Call the police- Even if the accident is minor, a police report can be a crucial piece of evidence when going through the claims process and can also help establish who is at fault.
  1. Make an accurate record- Make sure to give accurate information, to the best of your ability, to the investigating officer(s) taking your statement. Do not infer or distort any of the facts.
  1. Take pictures- Take photographs of any and all damage sustained to the vehicles involved in the accident. Try to do this as soon as you can after the accident. This will help your insurance adjuster assess how much you should be compensated for the damage to your vehicle as well as possibly aid your attorney in court.  
  1. Exchange info- After making sure you and any other passengers are not injured, gather information from others involved in the accident. You should be getting the names, numbers, addresses, driver’s license numbers, license plate numbers and basic insurance information from all drivers involved. If there are passengers, you should get their information as well, and remember to always be polite and cooperative. Something to remember is to never apologize for anything at the scene of the accident even if you think that you were at fault. In many states, fault is not determinative of which insurer pays for any loss, so don’t admit guilt needlessly.
  1. Notify your insurer- Calling your insurance agent while you’re still at the scene of the accident can help them tell you exactly what they need to process the claim as well as telling you what to expect during the claims process.
  1. Seek medical attention- Many times, the injuries sustained during an accident are not immediately apparent. In most cases, it takes a day or two for those involved in an accident to report feeling the most pain. Unless you are absolutely positive that you are not injured, seek medical attention at your local emergency room.
  2. Protect your rights- Maybe the most important thing to do after an accident is to consult your attorney. Your attorney will make sure that your rights are being protected and have you well-prepared in case you have to give any statements to the insurance companies involved, which often take place soon after the accident.

Many times after an accident, one can feel frazzled and not able to think clearly. Having a personal injury attorney that you can call at any time, will help put you at ease about what the next steps are and how to best protect yourself legally. The Law Office of Martha Dahdah is here to be there for you every step of the way and advise you on issues ranging from collecting full compensation to receiving proper medical treatment.


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