Car accidents can be scary, resulting in property damage, injuries, or death. Add lost wages, medical expenses, emotional suffering, and more on top of that, and it is a lot of stress and frustration. It’s not always easy to remember what to do in the heat of the moment, but crashes are common enough that a primer on the actions to take could help.
Get Medical Attention
Seek medical care even if you believe you’re not hurt. Many injuries are not evident right away, but you could be hurt and not realize it. Seeing a doctor as quickly as possible also establishes a trail for medical documentation if you end up with a case.
Contact an Attorney
Not enough people get in touch with an accident or accident attorney after being in a car crash. Often, they think they would have to pay enormous lump sums to retain lawyers or their injuries are not that bad, or lawyers are too much trouble.
Clarification is necessary. Personal injury attorneys tend to work on contingency, meaning they get paid at the end of your case from a judgment or settlement. If none occurs, they do not get paid. (As always, though, scrutinize fee agreements before agreeing to anything.)
As for the injuries issue, it’s possible injuries such as whiplash really are minor and will either stay that way or resolve quickly. Even in these cases, though, injuries are injuries. Further, many injuries get worse over time or do not manifest until years after a crash. An attorney can help ensure you are financially covered in case this happens.
As for lawyers being too much trouble, the opposite is true. Attorneys allow you to focus on healing without having to deal with paperwork, insurance companies, and many other extra headaches. They can quickly tell you what documentation and other information they need from you so your case is as solid as possible from the start.
Document as Much as You Can
Prioritize medical attention after a car accident, but if you are capable enough, document what you can. Take a look at your car for possible damage, and snap photos. Get the names and contact information of the other drivers involved and any witnesses. Get other drivers’ insurance information, too.
Contact the police to come, particularly if people are hurt. Otherwise, you can go to a police station to file a report. In some places, you can do this online. Get in touch with your insurance company as well.
Accident attorneys can enter the picture at any stage of this. If you think it’s too late to contact one, it probably is not. Get in touch anyway and see. Free consultations are the norm, so you won’t have to pay anything out of pocket. By documenting as much as possible yourself upfront, you help both yourself and a potential future attorney.
Follow Your Attorney’s Advice
Your attorney will probably tell you things like not to contact the insurance company or to refer calls from the company to the lawyers. Listen to their advice.
Car accidents are stressful, but knowing what to do ahead of time can make things easier. Get medical attention right away, document, and communicate with lawyers.