Accidents are a part of life, but knowing what to do after one occurs can make all the difference. Whether it’s a minor or major car accident, following the proper steps can help ensure your safety and protect your interests. So, what are the steps you should follow after an accident? Let’s take a closer look.
Step 1: Stay Calm
It’s important to stay calm after a car accident to make good choices. Even though it can be tough, it’s crucial to avoid rash decisions and errors that might hurt your case. Take some deep breaths and think before doing anything.
Step 2: Check for Injuries
The first thing you should do after an accident is to check yourself and others involved for injuries. If someone is hurt, call 911 immediately. Even if you don’t think you’re injured, it’s important to get checked out by a medical professional as soon as possible. This is not the time to save money.
According to the National Safety Council, over 4.5 million people were seriously injured in motor vehicle accidents in 2018 alone.
Step 3: Move to a Safe Area
If you’re able to, move yourself and your vehicle to a safe area to avoid any further accidents or injuries. If your car is not drivable, turn on your hazard lights to warn other drivers. Remember that staying in your car after a crash can be dangerous, especially if you’re on a road with heavy traffic. Many secondary accidents occur when people fail to move their car to a safe location.
Step 4: Call the Police
It’s important to report the accident to the police, even if it’s a minor fender bender. All calls to 911 are recorded, so they serve as proof of what transpired. In addition, a police report is invaluable when filing an insurance claim or seeking compensation for damages. In fact, some insurance companies require a police report to process a claim.
Always share your side of the story with the police. Do not let them assume your guilt without sharing your perspective. If you do not speak English, call a family member or friend to help translate.
Step 5: Exchange Information
Exchange contact and insurance information with the other driver(s) involved in the accident. If there were any witnesses to the accident, get their contact information as well. Make sure you ask the other driver for their name, address, phone number, email address, insurance company name, policy number, and driver’s license number.
To be safe, call the number provided by the other driver while they are still in front of you. If it does not ring, they may have given you a false number and false information. Unfortunately, this happens more than you think.
Step 6: Document the Scene
Take photos of the scene, including damage to vehicles, any injuries, and any other relevant details. This will help you file an insurance claim. You can also use your smartphone to record videos or take notes about what happened. Having photographic evidence can help provide a clearer picture of what happened and can aid in any legal proceedings.
It’s also a good idea to get a video of the other driver admitting that they caused the accident. People usually tell the truth right after an accident, but they may change their story later on to help their case. Recording the truth while it’s fresh can be very helpful.
Step 7: Notify Your Insurance Company
Contact your insurance company as soon as possible to report the accident and provide any necessary information. It’s important to remember that insurance companies may have specific deadlines for reporting accidents, so it’s important to act quickly.
Step 8: Seek Legal Advice
If you were injured in the accident, it’s a good idea to speak with a qualified Kansas City injury attorney to understand your legal rights and options. A personal injury attorney will help you navigate the complexities of the legal system and help you receive the compensation you deserve. They will also direct you towards the best medical care possible so you can focus on your recovery.
Step 9: Follow Up on Medical Treatment
If you were injured in the accident, it’s important to follow up on any medical treatment recommended by your doctor. Attend any follow-up appointments and physical therapy sessions. Failing to do so may negatively impact your ability to recover damages in a personal injury lawsuit.
Step 10: Keep Records
Keep detailed records of all expenses related to the accident, including medical bills, lost wages, and property damage. This will help you to accurately calculate the amount of damages you may be entitled to and can be useful when negotiating with insurance companies or seeking compensation through legal action. Always consult with a trusted Kansas City auto accident lawyer to determine what records are important to maintain.
Step 11: Be Cautious When Speaking to Others
Be careful what you say to others after an accident, particularly to insurance adjusters and other representatives of the other driver’s insurance company. All calls are recorded, and anything you say can be used against you in a claim or lawsuit. It’s important to be honest and accurate when recounting the details of the accident but avoid discussing fault or admitting any level of responsibility.
In conclusion, accidents can be stressful and overwhelming, but taking the right steps can help protect your interests and ensure a smoother recovery. Remember to stay calm, seek medical attention, document the scene, notify your insurance company, seek legal advice from a qualified Kansas City attorney, follow up on medical treatment, keep records, and be cautious when speaking to others. By following these steps, you can take control of the situation and increase your chances of receiving the compensation you deserve.
If you’ve been in a car accident in Kansas City, don’t wait another minute. Contact the Devkota Law Firm immediately and let us help you. The best part? We offer free consultations, so there’s no reason not to call and let us evaluate your case for FREE.
As the leading car accident attorneys in Kansas and Missouri, we’re here to fight for your rights and ensure you get the compensation you deserve. We take pride in our work, and our track record of success speaks for itself. So, why wait? Contact us today and let us take care of everything.