Car accident scenes are always chaotic, resulting in a great deal of stress and adrenaline. However, auto accident attorneys can attest that keeping your cool in the aftermath of an accident is essential. By remaining calm and following these steps, you'll give your personal injury claim the best chance of yielding a payout.
What Should You Do After an Auto Collision?
1. Call the Police
Responding officers will direct traffic away from the area so you can document the wreckage. They'll also conduct chemical tests, make any necessary arrests, obtain statements from eyewitnesses, and keep the situation from escalating. Once they leave the scene, they'll draft an official report, which insurers will likely require to process your claim.
2. Gather Pertinent Information
After the police have contained the scene and it's safe to walk around, record the other motorists' names, contact details, and insurance information. You should also get the names and phone numbers of those who witnessed the accident. Even if they give the police a recorded statement, your auto accident attorney may want to follow up and question them further throughout the investigation.
3. Seek Medical Care
If you don't need emergency treatment at the scene, seek medical care shortly afterward. Not all impact injuries are immediately apparent, so even if you feel fine, you may still need treatment. The shock and adrenaline of the crash could also be masking some symptoms, so the sooner you visit a doctor, the less likely you are to have complications.
4. Photograph the Damage
Accident reconstruction experts may be able to determine what happened in the moments leading up to the crash by evaluating photographs of the wreckage. As such, if you require immediate medical attention, have someone else walk around the scene and photograph each of the vehicles from all angles. If you can do this step on your own, make sure to capture everything from weather conditions and nearby traffic to deployed airbags, skid marks, and broken glass.
5. Follow Your Doctor’s Orders
Personal injury claimants must demonstrate a commitment to mitigating damages. That means if your doctor instructs you to take it easy, you shouldn't return to work in a matter of days. Otherwise, you could be found partially liable for the severity of your injuries and, subsequently, the associated damages.
If you were hurt in a collision, turn to The Law Office of Christopher J. Swatosh. Located in Ava, MO, this firm is led by a strategic auto accident attorney who has more than 20 years of experience in the legal field. He has recovered millions of dollars in settlements and verdicts on behalf of accident victims and their loved ones, so you can trust he’ll be thorough in his zealous representation. To request a consultation with this seasoned auto accident attorney, reach out on his website or call (417) 683-2987.
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