Each year, there are over 6 million car accidents in the United States. Unfortunately, many of these involve significant vehicle damage, injury, or both.
And, getting injured in a car accident comes with more complications than just pain.
If you don’t know the proper steps to take after the incident, you can also end up with chronic health issues and even miss out on your chance for compensation.
Not sure where to start? Don’t worry, we got you covered.
Let’s take a look at everything you need to know about what to do after a car accident injury.
First and foremost, you need to contact the local authorities after an accident occurs.
This will allow law enforcement to block off the scene from the rest of traffic and also prevent the situation from escalating any further (arguments may occur between drivers after an accident).
Additionally, it’s vital to call 911 after an accident for the sake of filing a police report, as most insurance companies require one when filing a claim.
Write Down (Or Record) Everything You Remember
After a vehicle collision (especially one where you’ve been injured), it can be difficult to gather your thoughts. You may also remember some details at first but forget them later one when speaking to a medical or insurance professional.
So, write down (either with a pen/paper or on your phone’s notepad app) everything that you remember about the accident. This includes:
- The events leading up to the collision
- What your vehicle was doing at the time of the accident
- What the other vehicle was doing at the time of the accident
- Any conflict there may have been between you and the other driver (they cut you off, you accidentally cut them off, etc.)
If you find it easier, you can also record a video of yourself stating all the details you remember about the accident.
Preserving Evidence Following a Car Accident
A motor vehicle accident resulting in property damage or personal injury needs to be reported to local law enforcement. Generally, once you report an accident, the agency will send an officer out to review all the facts and details of the accidents and investigate what happened and who was at fault.
After a few weeks or months, the investigative report will be available. The officer investigating the accident may take photos. If you are able to, you should also take photos of every aspect of the crash, including damage to the vehicles, damage to personal property, damage to yourself and other crash victims. Document witness names and contact information who may be able to testify what they observed.
Take Photographs of Anything and Everything
While waiting for help to arrive, use a camera or cell phone to take photos of everything that you can. This can later be used as evidence when building your claim.
You should only move around to take photos if you feel comfortable doing so. Even if you aren’t bleeding or suffering from broken bones, you could still have internal damage that could flare up if you exert too much energy.
When in doubt, move to a safe area (away from traffic) and take pictures from that location. It’s not always a good idea to remain your vehicle after a collision due to potential fuel leaks and mechanical complications.
In addition to taking pictures of the scene of the accident, take pictures of any injuries that you have, as well.
Obtain Necessary Information
At the scene of the accident, do your best to acquire all the info that you can.
While this obviously includes getting the other driver’s insurance information, ask any nearby witnesses for their contact info if they’re willing to provide it. Your Rhode Island car accident attorney may need to speak with them as your case develops.
After an officer takes a police report of the accident, they’ll provide you with a number that you can use in the future to access all of the information they compiled.
Contact Your Insurance Company
It’s vital to tell your insurance company as soon as possible about your collision. Most policies require you to contact your insurance provider immediately, so waiting even a few days to do so (aside from medical-related reasons) can complicate the process.
Depending on your policy, you may also have coverage for your injuries. If you choose to use this coverage to pay for your medical bills, you must notify your provider and then submit your medical bills to them.
Seek A Medical Professional
Sometimes, accidents are serious enough for the injured driver to be immediately rushed to the hospital. Other times, they are treated at the scene and sent on their way.
But, as previously mentioned, it’s possible for your injuries to be internal and not readily visible. You could also not experience pain until after you’ve left the scene of the accident.
So, visit a medical professional and seek treatment as soon as possible. At the very least, they’ll be able to make sure you don’t have any health complications that need further attention.
Your medical records are also vital to obtain when filing an insurance claim and seeking legal compensation for your injuries.
Get Medical Care and Treatment
If you are injured at all, it is very important to seek medical attention promptly following an accident. If you do not see a doctor for a week following an accident, the other driver’s insurance company may dispute your claim if you come back later and say you were seriously hurt.
Visiting the Emergency Room or doctor establishes you sought medical attention and needed care following an accident. The treating doctor will document the accident and create a record of the visit.
Contact a Reputable Attorney
You won’t get very far in the courtroom without experienced legal representation. A reputable Providence car accident lawyer who specializes in auto accident injury can get you the compensation you deserve after your collision.
When searching for one, look for things like their total number of years practicing and past client testimonies. Also, research how many cases they’ve won in the courtroom.
At the very least, they can provide legal advice on the next steps for you to take if you have unanswered questions after your accident.
Knowing What to Do After a Car Accident Injury Can Seem Difficult at First
But it doesn’t have to be.
With the above information about what to do after a car accident injury in mind, you’ll be well on your way to making sure you take the proper steps to get the treatment and compensation you deserve.
Want to learn more about the legal proceedings after a car accident? Make sure to check out the rest of our blog!