A car accident can turn your world upside down, literally as well as figuratively. In the midst of the chaos and confusion, you need to take certain steps to protect yourself.
Many personal injury attorneys tell you to call them right away after an accident. At Jennifer Porter Law, my team and I are ready to help you, but before you call me, I want you to take these important steps because they can make all the difference in the speed and completeness of your recovery.
Step 1 – Call 911
Emergency personnel are trained to assess the situation and find you the right professional help. You should get assistance from the professionals as soon as possible.
Step 2 – Consider Your Condition
If you’re stunned, bleeding, hurt, or crying and not certain why, then ask the 911 dispatcher to send an ambulance. It’s far better to have the service and not need it than to be stranded without critical help for yourself or others on the scene. If the ambulance crew recommends that you go to the hospital, then allow them to take you.
Step 3 -Gather Your Information
If you can, get your driver’s license, insurance card, and vehicle registration and put them together.
Step 4 – Get Information from the Other Driver
Try to get a photo of the other driver’s license, insurance card, and registration. If the other driver is angry or refuses to cooperate, just stay in your vehicle away from them. However, if the other driver leaves the scene, do not follow their example but wait for the police.
Step 5 – Take Photos
If you or someone else at the scene is able to safely, take photos of the positions of the vehicles and any visible vehicle damage. Take photos of the signs and surroundings including anything that could obstruct visibility. If you see skid marks, take pictures of those as well.
Step 6 – Locate Witnesses
Determine whether someone may have witnessed the accident. Try to get their name, phone number, and email address so they can be contacted later.
Step 7 – Report the Accident
While it is best to avoid answering questions from the other driver’s insurance company, you should report the accident to your own car insurance company. Just provide the basic details and don’t speculate about the causes of the accident.
Step 8 –Did Your Car Need to Be Towed?
If your car had to be towed from the accident scene, it is important to report this to your insurance company if you have not already. However, you do not need to talk to the other driver’s insurance company because they may try to trick you into saying something that could hurt your claim later.
Step 9–Get a Thorough Medical Exam
Whether you feel pain now or not, it is important to get a complete medical examination. Adrenaline can hide many symptoms of injuries, so the only way to determine whether you are hurt is to get a doctor to check you over carefully. Some injuries such as internal bleeding are not apparent right away. Don’t take risks with your health. Grab your insurance card and head to the doctor.
Step 10 – Hire a Lawyer
Once you’ve taken care of these essentials, then you should call an attorney who can help you with the next steps to protect yourself. At Jennifer Porter Law, we will talk to you for free and help you understand how to avoid losing your rights or being taken advantage of by insurance companies. We can handle questions from investigators and guide you through the claims process in DC, Maryland, or Northern Virginia to help you gain the recovery you deserve.
Jennifer Porter Law, PLLC Can Help After an Accident
After a car accident, you may be overwhelmed with fear for the future and uncertainty about what to do. We understand, and we can help you ensure you get the care and resources you need for physical and financial recovery. Just give us a call for a free consultation and case evaluation.