The sound of a crash can be gut-wrenching but even worse is when it’s your vehicle who’s caught in the middle of it. The best thing you can do, even though it may be tough is to remain calm and gather your thoughts. When involved in an accident there are several factors that you need to address and be aware of to protect yourself legally.
After A Car Accident
Following this step by step guide will protect yourself as a victim of a crash to ensure that you are properly taken care of.
1. Call the Police
The first thing you should do even before calling a loved one is to call the police to report the accident. Next, if you are in a position to check on passengers and others in the accident. Don’t hesitate to call or think someone else may have already called, it’s best to make sure the police have been notified so proper documentation can be recorded. As the police arrive, they will assess the accident and file a report as well issue a citation to the driver who is responsible for the accident. Having a police report and documentation of a citation is evidence in which you will need if you need to file an injury claim if you sustained injuries in the accident.
2. Seek Medical Attention
Following the accident, if your injuries are severe you may be taken by ambulance but if you are able to walk away on your own you may still want to get looked at it even if you think you feel okay. Act sooner rather than later as this will not only better your chances at a better recovery but will help if you need to file a claim. Symptoms to look out for are dizziness, pain, discomfort, stiffness, numbness, swelling, and headaches.
Even if you do not believe that you were seriously injured, you should still be seen by a medical professional. Many injuries can take days or weeks to manifest, and if you wait to long, the costs of treatment and recovery may be left out of your claim.
3. Gather Evidence
Gather as much evidence as you can from the accident to help process your claim and if the case is taken to court the more evidence you have the better chance you have at getting a fair settlement. Always get the drivers information and a copy of their drivers license as well as their plate information on their car. Make sure to take down all of their insurance information with the name and phone number and address of who they carry their policy through just in case.
If there were any witnesses to the accident, it is always a good idea to take a statement from them just in case you need it in the future. Also, asking the witness to stick around until police arrive so they can share what they saw may also help in developing evidence for your case. If possible, take photos from different angles to show what direction you were coming from and what direction the other car was coming from as well as damage done to the vehicle.
4. Stay Organized
Keep all documents safe and organized so in the event that the case is taken to court, you are prepared. Billing statements that you should keep include medical treatments, medications, property repairs, and receipts for any other out-of-pocket expenses.
5. Contact an Attorney
If injuries and damage was significant, reach out to a lawyer to have them assist you with your case to ensure that you are getting fair compensation. Most personal injury attorneys offer free consultations for the victims of auto accidents, so speaking with one will cost you nothing.
The reason you should speak with an attorney is they can go over the details of your case and help you get a settlement from the at-fault driver’s insurance company that will compensate you for all of your losses. If you try to go after the insurance company on your own, typically they try and give you a lower amount than if you went through the process with a lawyer. Having an experienced attorney fight for you is the best way to protect your rights and get the settlement you deserve.
6. Call AICA Atlanta
Our Atlanta chiropractors are also here if you have sustained significant injuries from an auto accident and are looking to seek relief. If you have been in an accident and are unsure of what to do next, contact our team today for a consultation and let us help take the stress out of this daunting process. Call us at (404) 889-8828 today!