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What Should I Do Immediately After a Car Accident?

After a car accident or similar events, you may feel overwhelmed quickly. You are probably dealing with painful extensive injuries, and you’ve got to deal with the aftermath of the accident, whether it is dealing with your other passengers, the severity of the damages on your vehicle, and more. Filing a personal injury claim may be the furthest thing from your mind. 

However, if another reckless or negligent party caused your accident, you’ll want to act quickly to hold them liable. A personal injury claim can help. There are a few things you should do immediately after an accident to ensure your claim is strong and supported by relevant evidence.

What Steps Do I Take After a Car Accident? 

You’ve just been in a car accident. You can feel your heart racing, and your neck hurts or you are suffering from other painful injuries. Your first thought may be to leave the scene of the accident immediately, but this is not recommended. 

There are a few vital steps you should take after an accident for your safety and the safety of your passengers. These actions can also help in the aftermath if you decide to file a personal injury claim. The most important steps you can take after an accident include: 

Staying At the Scene and Alerting Authorities

First thing’s first. Never by any circumstances drive away from an accident scene right after. Even if the other driver is telling you it’s a minor accident and the authorities should not be called, you’ll want to get the police involved immediately. Police may play an important role after the accident as they can immediately determine liability, as well as write a report that can be referenced when filing a personal injury claim. 

Take Pictures and Videos 

Always take pictures and videos of the scene of the accident, your vehicle, and your injuries. Recording a video can also be helpful. It also doesn’t hurt to ask nearby drivers who witnessed the accident if they may have a dashcam in their vehicle that recorded the accident from another angle. Pictures and videos can be used for concrete evidence when it comes to your personal injury lawsuit. 

Exchange Information With Other Drivers and Witnesses

It is vital to exchange information with other drivers and witnesses at the scene of the accident. Oftentimes during a personal injury claim, your lawyer may want to get the statements of any witnesses who were present. A neutral witness statement from another driver who witnessed the accident can be extremely important for any personal injury case. 

Seek Medical Treatment

It doesn’t matter if you feel fine after an accident, some injuries take longer to show symptoms or it may also be a matter of adrenaline keeping you from feeling pain. Get medical treatment immediately after an accident to obtain written information regarding the extent of your injuries, treatment options, and other documentation that may be used as evidence down the road. 

Should I Do Anything Else in the Days Following?

Your actions may not just be reserved for the actual day of the accident. In fact, in the following days after the initial incident, you should be taking a few other steps that could be useful for possible compensation.

Start Organizing Detailed Records

If you are planning on filing a personal injury claim, you’ll want to start organizing all your detailed records. This can include medical expense documents, auto repair shop estimates, pictures, and more. You’ll also want to keep the information of the witnesses at the scene of the accident with all your other evidence for later reference. 

Seek Legal Advice

One of the most helpful actions you can take in the days following a vehicle accident is sitting down to consult with a lawyer. An expert personal injury attorney can provide guidance when it comes to your best legal options in mind. Personal injury lawyers can work in your best interests, helping you with insurance communications, calculating the value for damages, and more. 

Is There Anything I Shouldn’t Do Following A Car Accident?

You’ve heard about what to do following a car accident, but are there any actions you should be wary of? If you are looking to file a personal injury claim, then there are a few things you should refrain from doing for the sake of your case. These actions include:

Don’t Leave the Scene Immediately

Leaving the scene of the accident immediately without taking photos, speaking to other witnesses, and calling the police can be a big mistake. You will be left without the necessary evidence to support your case, and your insurance claim for the other driver will not have a strong basis. 

Don’t Apologize or Admit Any Fault

Apologizing or admitting fault in an accident is never recommended. In the case of a claim, these words may come back to haunt you. Keep your statements neutral when speaking to the other driver(s) involved in the car accident and wait for police to show up to give your full detailed account of the accident. 

Don’t Delay Medical Treatment

Just because you aren’t feeling any pain does not mean you should skip out or delay treatment. If you are looking to file a claim with the other driver’s insurance, delaying medical treatment or not following the doctor’s orders can be brought up during the claim to lower or deny your compensation claim

Don’t Say Too Much to Insurance Adjusters

If you are speaking to an insurance adjuster from the other driver’s insurance, it is important to watch what you say. Again, do not admit any liability for the accident. These conversations are often recorded and anything you say can be used to fight your claim. 

Don’t Pay Out of Your Own Pocket

After an accident, you may be just be thinking about treating your injuries and getting your vehicle repaired as soon as possible. However, it is vital to not just pay for everything out of your own pocket. You should be holding other liable drivers accountable and trying to obtain the financial compensation for damages. 

Should I Speak to A Personal Injury Attorney?

If you are debating on whether you should speak to a personal injury attorney after an accident, the answer is always yes. Whether you are navigating insurance claims or looking to file a personal injury suit, an attorney can help you get your claim started. Legal representation can bring you much closer to financial compensation, which can be used to cover expenses such as:

  • Medical expenses
  • Vehicle and other property repairs
  • Loss of income from being unable to work
  • Mental anguish
  • Pain and suffering
  • Future in-home care if needed

If all of these expenses are a direct result of someone else’s negligence, why should you have to pay for them? Instead, sit down with a San Diego personal injury attorney to discuss your case and see what your legal options are. If you complete all the mentioned steps above, you have already started to build quite a strong personal injury claim. Your personal injury attorney can take care of the rest, so you can focus on recovery and getting back to your routines!


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