Although you may feel shaken and disoriented after a car accident, it’s important to take certain steps to protect your rights and your health. The car accident lawyers at Thomas, Conrad & Conrad Law Offices provide legal services throughout Eastern Pennsylvania. Here, we share some tips on what to do after a car accident and how seeking legal counsel can safeguard your interests.
Check Yourself and Others for Injuries
Do a body scan to check and see if you’re injured. If you are seriously hurt and out of harm’s way, it’s best not to move. If possible, check on your passengers and others involved in the accident.
Even if no one appears to be hurt, you should always call 911 after a motor vehicle crash. In some states, it’s required. There’s no harm in getting checked out by paramedics, and police can help sort out how the accident happened. Police testimony and reports also are valuable evidence you may need if you decide to file a personal injury claim. Make sure to ask for a copy of the police report before you leave the scene. If law enforcement doesn’t show up, go to the nearest police station and file a report.
Get to Safety
If you’re in a dangerous spot, get yourself to safety. If your car is a hazard and it’s possible to move it off the road, go ahead and do so. Otherwise, turn on the hazard lights, leave it where it is, and wait for emergency personnel to arrive.
Get contact and insurance information from the other driver and anyone else involved in the accident. One of the easiest ways to gather this information is to take photos of their license plate, driver’s license, and insurance card. Write down the color and model of the vehicle and obtain contact information from any witnesses as well. Stay composed and do not admit fault to anyone, including the police.
Document the Accident
Pictures and videos of the scene, vehicle damage, and your injuries are some of the most valuable pieces of evidence in a car accident claim. Use the voice recorder on your phone or write down everything you remember about what happened while the details are still fresh in your mind. It’s also a good idea to jot down any witness statements along with their contact information.
Seek Medical Attention
Many people who are hurt in collisions don’t realize they’re seriously injured until days or weeks later. Symptoms of whiplash, spinal injuries, and even potentially catastrophic injuries such as traumatic brain injury (TBI) may not appear right away, so it’s vital to get yourself to a hospital or doctor to receive the care you need. They can perform diagnostic tests and exams to determine the extent of your injuries. These medical records are crucial if you decide to move ahead with a car accident claim and taking care of your health and well-being should always be your priority.
Notify Your Insurer
It’s also important to report the accident to your insurance company. Be straightforward about what happened, but do not admit fault. If you hire a personal injury lawyer, you may want them to handle further communications with all insurers, including your own. Do not sign anything or accept a settlement from any insurance company before speaking with an attorney. It’s also important to refer any inquiries from other parties’ insurers to your car accident attorney. Insurance adjusters often ask misleading questions that can result in the blame for an accident being placed on you. If they contact you, politely tell them to speak to your lawyer.
Contact a Car Accident Attorney
Contact a qualified accident attorney after a crash. Even if you think that your injuries are minor, you could experience serious repercussions down the road. Personal injury lawyers offer free case evaluations, so you have nothing to lose. It’s important to remember that insurance companies always try to pay the least amount possible – having a car accident attorney by your side protects your rights and can help to ensure you recover the full and fair amount of compensation you deserve.
At Thomas, Conrad & Conrad, our car accident attorneys are dedicated to helping injured victims of car accidents and their families throughout eastern Pennsylvania. Contact us online or call our Bath office at 610-867-2900 to schedule a free consultation.