Top 10 Things To Do After a Car Wreck
New Braunfels Personal Injury Lawyer
If you are involved in a car wreck, it is an unnerving experience that can impact you for weeks, months, or event years after the accident. Following the crash, you will be overcome with many negative thoughts or questions. Is anyone in my car hurt? Is everyone in the other car okay? Every accident is different, but there are several things you should be sure to do immediately after a car crash:
- Call the Police. Some individuals involved in a wreck may be tempted to "keep police out of it" or try to handle the situation on their own. Calling the cops and filling out a police report is the best way to protect yourself legally following a crash. Be wary of anyone who asks you to refrain from calling the police after a wreck or offers you cash instead of going through the police and insurance companies. This may be a warning sign that the other driver is driving on a suspended license, is intoxicated, or otherwise has something to hide.
- Check for Injuries. If anyone has been injured in the accident, it is important to take steps to minimize his or her movement and keep them calm while you wait for paramedics to arrive. Take note of any pain, dizziness, or discomfort you feel as well. You will want to catalog any injuries you sustained from the wreck in order to report to a personal injury attorney.
- Stay at the Scene of the Accident. For small fender-benders or minor wrecks, you should move the vehicles out of the way of traffic onto a nearby shoulder or parking lot. Get to a safe location but never leave the scene of the accident.
- Take Pictures. If you are physically able and it is safe to do so, take several pictures of your vehicle and any damage it has suffered. Also, take pictures of the other vehicle and the surroundings. Write down a few notes about what happened while the details are fresh in your mind.
- Look for Witnesses. Take note of any bystanders that may have witnessed the crash and ask them for their contact information. Witnesses are sometimes contacted by insurance companies or attorneys to clarify or confirm details of the accident.
- Exchange Information with the Other Driver. This is a time when emotions can run high. It is important to remain calm when dealing with the other driver. Do not admit fault and refrain from discussing the specifics of the crash; only gather the facts. Collect the names, driver's license information, and insurance information from the others involved in the crash.
- Listen to and Follow the Advice of Police. Police are trained to handle this exact type of situation. Be calm and polite when dealing with the police; they have your best interest in mind.
- Accept Medical Attention. Even if you feel okay after an accident, you should still get checked out at a hospital. At the very least, allow the responding paramedics to evaluate you on the scene. Many injuries from an accident are not immediately apparent, and adrenaline may prevent you from feeling the full extent of your injuries.
- Stay Organized. Keep a file of all pertinent information, including names, addresses, insurance companies, medical bills, and repair estimates. These details may be useful if you need to pursue compensation later.
- Call a Lawyer. A lawyer can protect your rights and make sure you receive satisfactory compensation for injuries. Your attorney can help you file your insurance claims, determine liability for the accident, and assist you in putting your life back together following a serious accident.
Contact The Bettersworth Law Firm today at 830-606-0404 to schedule your free initial consultation. From offices in New Braunfels and San Marcos, we are proud to serve clients throughout the San Antonio, Seguin, and Austin areas.