Getting into a car accident is incredibly jarring, but it is even worse if you are injured from it. It is important to take certain steps to protect yourself after being in an accident.
Pull Over to Safety
The first step you must take after being in an accident is to make sure you and everyone else involved in the crash can get out of harm’s way. If you are able to document the scene safely before moving your car you may do so, but the top priority should be ensuring everyone’s safety.
Call the Police
It is important to get an officer to the scene of the accident so that he or she can write a report that may later assist in filing a claim with insurance. The officer will be someone objective who can state what happened to cause the accident, and who is likely at fault.
Get Witness Statements
If there were any witnesses, be sure to get their contact information and a written statement about what happened. People can forget details quickly, so it is better to hear their accounts at the scene of the accident than at a later date. If people are willing to wait for an officer to arrive, they will likely give a statement to police then.
Get the phone number, insurance information, vehicle make and model, and license plate number of the person you were in an accident with. This will be important when filing a claim with insurance or in court if that route becomes necessary.
Go to the Doctor
Finally, you need to see your primary care physician after an accident to document any injuries you have — or at least have it on record that you were involved in a car accident and could have sustained injuries from it. Sometimes adrenaline and the shock of a crash can delay how long it takes you to notice that you are injured. Your doctor may find something you missed, or will at least know whether or not to attribute future injuries to this accident.
Contact an Attorney