What to Do After a Car Accident

April 10, 2016

Car accidents happen every day. Some accidents are worse than others – sometimes you will simply walk away without a scratch. But other times, you could be injured much more seriously. There are some important things to do immediately after a car accident which was not your fault that will increase the likelihood of getting a fair resolution. Most importantly, call the police and get treatment for any injuries you or your passengers may have suffered.


Get Medical Treatment


Immediately following an accident it is essential to get checked out by a doctor. It is important to note that some injuries may not become apparent until later. Also, you are likely distraught after the accident and may not even realize that you have been hurt. Internal injuries and head trauma are dangerous and even life threatening if left untreated.


Call the Police


It is necessary to call the police right after the accident happens. If it is safe to do so, keep the vehicles in the same position until police arrive. The police will take a report from both drivers. The officer will also take statements from any witnesses. These witness statements could prove beneficial later on. In serious crashes, the police will take photos and measurements of the crash site. If the police were not called an accident report must be filed.


Take Photos


If you are not badly hurt you should take some photos of the accident scene. It is especially helpful to take pictures of the exact position of the vehicles after the accident as well as damages to all vehicles. You can also utilize your cell phone camera to take a picture of the license plate number of the other vehicle as well as a picture of the driver’s license and insurance cards.


Do Not Admit Guilt


It is often common for people to immediately apologize when they exit their vehicle, even if they are not sure how the accident happened. This could have a negative impact should you need to go to court to seek compensation from the other driver. It is best to simply state the facts and do not admit guilt nor provide an apology. State the facts rather than jumping to conclusions. If the case ends up going to court your attorney will evaluate the evidence and prove fault in the accident.


Contact Your Insurance Company


Even if the accident is not your fault, you should let your insurance company know what happened. Your insurance company is there to provide you with assistance when an accident happens. They will let you know what steps you need to take. You may be contacted by the other driver’s insurance company. Do not make any statements until you have first talked to an attorney. An insurance agent may try to settle quickly by offering you a check. Do not accept such offers because it is likely that the offer will not cover the expenses you have.  


Protect Your Rights


One of the best things you can do after a serious accident is to discuss the matter with a qualified attorney. Your lawyer will protect your rights and help you seek the justice you deserve. When the accident was not your fault you may be entitled to compensation. Comparative negligence means that even if you were partially responsible for the accident you may be able to receive payment. Your attorney will evaluate your case and provide you with your available options. Contact the skilled Columbia, SC car accident attorneys at Connell Law Firm for a consultation.