What should I do at the scene of a car accident?
When you’re involved in a severe car accident, it can be extremely frightening and life-changing.
No matter if you’re a new driver or have been driving for decades, you may not know what to do at the scene of a car accident. Learning what to do at the scene of an accident can help you in your recovery and keep you calm throughout the process.
What do you do at the scene?
First, call the police.
The first thing that you need to do after you’ve been in an accident is to contact the police. Call 911 and ask that a police officer will be dispatched to your location. If there are any injuries or major damage, they will coordinate help for you immediately. A police officer is a useful mediator between involved parties.
The police officer will discuss the accident with all parties and get every detail that they can to create an accurate report that will be legally filed. If you don’t contact the police after an accident, there will be no record of the accident, which will cause problems for you when attempting to recover damages.
If possible, get a copy of the report at the scene or find out how you can get one after. If you decide to take legal action, the report is a valuable document that you’ll need to have on hand.
Once the accident has been reported to the police, exchange information with the other driver. Get their full name and address, insurance policy information, driver’s license information, and license plate number. They will ask you for yours, too, so that you can accurately report the accident to your insurance providers.
Look into any damages or injuries that occurred.
Even if the accident was fairly mild, examine any damage or injuries that may be present. Damage can include both property damage (to your car) and damage to personal possessions. Injuries can be obvious, such as scrapes, bruises, or even broken bones, or they can be “hidden”, like concussions, internal bleeding, and more.
Sometimes, minor injuries can turn into serious injuries. If you have a pre-existing injury, it may be worse after the accident. Any damages or injuries should be documented via pictures, video, or in writing, so you can make sure to have evidence from the start.
Any moderate injuries should be diagnosed and treated by a medical provider. Severe injuries should be treated at the ER in a nearby hospital as soon as possible.
Gather as much evidence as you can.
When car accidents are anything more than a minor fender bender, evidence is an important part of making claims in a legal case and getting full reimbursement. Use your smartphone to take pictures and videos of anything that can prove the fault of the other party or shows negligence on their behalf. If there’s any strange behavior, make sure to take note and/or take a video.
If witnesses are nearby, get an interview with them and take down their information. They may be an important part of your legal case if one is necessary.
Stay at the scene.
Unless you’ve been hurt and are taken to the hospital by medical personnel, you should always stay at the scene of the accident until you are told that you can leave. It’s important to stay at the scene until you are allowed to leave so you don’t miss out on any evidence that can increase your ability to receive full compensation.
What about after the accident?
Once the car accident scene is settled and it’s time to leave, you likely have many questions about what you should do next. Even though you may wish for life to snap back to normal, there are likely many things that you need to take care of related to the accident.
Contact a Personal Injury Lawyer
If you or a loved one has been significantly injured in the accident and you’re not responsible for more than 50% of the accident, contact a personal injury lawyer for help. A personal injury lawyer that focuses on car accident cases can help you choose the right path to get compensated for all of the damages you’ve incurred.
Legal claims for car accidents can be complex. A lawyer can help you make the right decisions and feel comfortable throughout the process. To receive full compensation, negligence has to be proven, and an Atlanta car accident lawyer will know how to do just that.
Keep Discussions Private
To get the best results possible during a legal case, refrain from any public discussions or mentions of the car accident and any related events. This means that you should not post anything on social media, because it can be used against you in court.
Contact Your Insurance Provider
After a car accident of any kind, it is your duty and responsibility to contact your insurance provider and report the accident. You’ll inform your provider of the basic details of the accident, such as who was involved and the location.
Visit Your Doctor
If you have severe injuries, you’ll likely be taking a trip to the hospital immediately. For moderate injuries, visit your doctor or an urgent care provider quickly. Don’t let weeks pass if you have anything more than a few minor scratches, because you don’t know how much worse your injuries will get.
Plus, many car accidents result in scary hidden injuries that can be life-threatening or life-altering if not taken care of quickly.
Contact Haug Law Group for Help After Your Car Accident
Haug Law Group is a trusted partner for car accident cases in Atlanta. If you need help filing a legal claim or have any questions throughout the process, contact our team. We’ll help you figure out your path forward and fight to get you all of the compensation you deserve. Call 844-428-4529 or send us a message for a free consultation and case evaluation now!