What To Do After a Car Accident
Source; Unsplash | Michael Jin
You may feel very fortunate that you survived a car accident or that you walked away without more severe injuries. Nevertheless, surviving a car accident does not make your life any easier.
The steps that you take immediately after a car accident can mean the difference between a lifetime of regret and an easy road to recovery. Let’s consider the steps below that you should take after a car accident to ensure that you are fully and fairly compensated for your injuries.
#1: Call for Emergency Assistance
It is paramount to put the lives of others and yourself first. Financial injuries can be dealt with later. There are many physical injuries that can be elusive because your body is flooded with endorphins and adrenaline at the moment of impact.
Endorphins are your body’s natural morphine-like substances. Morphine can be strong enough to block the nerve signals and allow for a painless amputation of a damaged limb, for example.
Although the natural endorphins in your body break down faster than the opiate-derived morphine painkiller, your body will produce voluminous amounts to protect your life. There are cases where people have cut off their own limbs to rescue themselves if they are pinned down in remote regions by machinery or nature.
Adrenaline is also your ally after a car accident or any kind of accident. It can provide you with superhuman strength if the need is great enough. Mothers have been known to lift large vehicles to rescue their children. And people have broken free from other near-fatal situations.
Summoning emergency service to the scene allows you to be checked out by a physician and for the police to file an official report. Although the police report will not prove who caused the accident, it can resolve a lot of facts that may be disputed later.
While it may be rare, there are instances where one defendant claimed that someone else was driving the vehicle at the time of the impact or that it did not occur when and where the plaintiff alleged. Always help to solidify as many facts as possible.
Fake IDs are easy to get and are commonly held by illegal immigrants. Only an officer at the scene can verify the validity of the identification and ensure that reckless drivers are held accountable. If you have back pain, you should not try to move and should lie as flat as possible on the ground until help arrives.
#2: Exchange Information with Other Drivers
Never attempt to leave the scene of an accident. If you try to leave, for even a moment, you can be charged with hit-and-run driving. It can be hard to prove your good intentions later. There may be situations where you need to leave the scene to obtain emergency help if there is no cell coverage or houses nearby. But even in these situations, it is better to leave a note with your information to cover all your bases.
Be sure to get the name, address, and telephone numbers of any drivers involved. In addition, you will need proof of insurance, their driver’s licenses, and automobile license information. Since the car may be registered to someone else, the insurance may fall under their coverage. Or, if it is a stolen vehicle, it may be difficult to prove who did it after the fact.
Since a large percentage of accidents are caused by uninsured and unlicensed motorists, it is important to ensure that the identification, registration, and insurance information all match up. You can store most of this information on your SmartPhone by taking photographs.
#3: Gather Witnesses and Other Evidence
Your SmartPhone can come in handy here as well. If there are any witnesses on the scene, ask them if they would recite a narrative of what occurred on a SmartPhone video. Since almost everyone carries a SmartPhone these days, it is the easiest way for them to provide their contact info and to give a fresh, real-time description of what occurred and who may be at fault. This is home-run evidence if they saw the other driver commit a violation, such as running a stop sign.
You should also take notes of your surroundings. The weather, temperature, time of day, specific roads, and any unusual road hazards can all help forensic experts to recreate the accident. Tire skid marks, debris on the road, the sight of impact, and anything that you think may be relevant to building a full picture of the event will help.
#4: Record Your Injuries
Although you need an experienced car accident personal injury lawyer to present your case effectively, you can help by recording minute details of how the accident affected you. If you experienced pain between your shoulder blades, dizziness, weakness, or fainting, you want to make a diary of all these injuries.
An experienced Los Angeles accident attorney can help you to find the right experts who can accurately document your injuries and provide the best level of care. Only certain specialists may have experience with injuries, such as whiplash, that often come about with a delayed onset.
Furthermore, only an experienced auto injury attorney would have recommendations on which doctors understand the needs of litigants. It is not enough to simply write a report that you were injured. The defendants will want detailed reports that have sufficient clarity to demonstrate the scope and seriousness of the injuries.
Calculate the Damages
A car accident personal injury lawyer is necessary if you suffered serious injuries that will continue to cause you financial or emotional burdens of pain and suffering long after the lawsuit concludes. An experienced Los Angeles accident attorney is also required if you are suing on behalf of the estate of a loved one. Calculating wrongful death injuries and permanent handicaps are something that only an expert can assess.
Stick to the Hard Facts
If the police ask you what happened, you may have to honestly tell them that you don’t know. When you are struck by a vehicle that is doing something wrong, they often appear out of nowhere in ways that you wouldn’t expect. The entire accident may be a blur for the victim.
But you should never speculate about what may have occurred or admit any degree of fault. The more complicated that you make your case, the harder it will be to sustain it when you are facing the insurance companies and their aggressive lawyers.
Consult an Attorney
Although you should contact your insurance company as soon as possible, you also need to find an experienced auto injury attorney from the get-go. An experienced attorney can help you start building the case from square one to ensure all your ducks are in a row. The courts are intolerant of delays and can dismiss your claims if there are too many discrepancies in the early phases.
An attorney can even help you to file the claim with the insurance company. Putting together the facts and evidence at this stage can help you to settle the claim quickly without going to court. If you write the wrong facts or don’t assemble the evidence, it will be difficult to prove that the insurance company was acting in “bad faith” if they delay or deny the claims.
Please contact West Coast Trial Lawyers for additional information. We are dedicated to helping accident victims just like you obtain full and fair compensation. We work hard on your behalf and have decades of experience in this field to achieve successful results.