After getting into a car accident, most people are thinking about their immediate safety rather than car accident insurance claims, lawyers, or possible long-term injuries. Unfortunately, these are all things that need to be considered following a car accident, even a small one. Ignoring these can end up causing big problems, costing you extra money, and creating extra hassles to deal with. When you do get into an accident, it’s important to remain calm and take certain steps to protect yourself and your interests.
12 Things You Should Immediately Do Following a Car Accident
1. Stop Immediately and Do Not Leave the Scene of the Accident
There are several things to do after a car accident, but it is important that anyone involved in a collision stay at the scene, except in cases where prompt medical attention is required. By leaving the scene of an accident, a person can potentially open themselves up to criminal charges. As well, it is important to stay at the scene of a collision to collect the other driver’s information, take photos, and talk to witnesses, among other steps.
2. Call the Police
When considering what to do after a car accident, remember to immediately call the police. It does not matter what the severity of the accident is or whether anyone is injured. Police reports can be required for insurance claims. Do not move the cars from the scene of the accident until police have arrived and taken their report.
3. Seek Medical Attention Fast
On the checklist of things to do after a car accident, seeking medical attention ought to rank near the top. Even in the case of minor injuries, it is important to seek medical help as soon as possible. Some injuries may not be apparent right away, while others may seem minor but can actually be quite serious. If left untreated, minor injuries could worsen. Neglecting medical treatment for injuries makes it more difficult to seek compensation or insurance benefits later on. Having a doctor document injuries can be a requirement for many insurance claims and personal injury cases.
4. Ensure everyone is safe
The most important thing to do is to make sure that nobody is severely injured or requires medical attention. If someone does, call 911 right away before you worry about insurance or damage to vehicles.
5. Take Pictures
Taking pictures of both vehicle damage and injuries can be important for insurance and personal injury claims. If a person involved in a collision has access to a camera, they should use that, but even cell phone photos can suffice for these purposes. It is important to take as many photos as possible of damages and injuries. These can be crucial for helping to prove damages and secure compensation.
6. Remain tight-lipped:
Anything you say after a car accident could end up being used against you in court. A simple “sorry” could be seen as an admission of guilt or liability. Say whatever is necessary and nothing more.
7. Locate Any Witnesses
If anyone witnessed the accident, then they can be important for helping with insurance and personal injury claims. People involved in accidents should immediately approach any witnesses, taking down their names, contact information, and a summary of what they saw. Witnesses can be crucial when resolving disputes, as they can back up an injured person’s recollection of the incident.
8. Speak to witnesses
Before it’s too late, approach anyone who saw the accident and get their name and contact information. Witnesses could be crucial if there is a dispute with either the other driver or your insurance company.
9. Keep track of important details
Make note of what happened and any injuries you sustained. As well, take as many pictures as possible of the scene, the cars, and any sustained visible injuries. These could be crucial in court.
10. Contact your insurance company
Contact your insurance company and get a property damage figure. This will tell you how much money you can receive to cover the damage from the accident.
11. Don’t Share Injury Concerns
When an accident occurs, it is best to remain tight-lipped, both about injury status and responsibility for the accident. The truth is that someone involved in an accident may not know the extent of their injuries until later on, after they have calmed down and are assessed by a medical professional. Being involved in an accident is shocking, but things said in shock at the scene of the accident can end up being used against you. By speaking about injuries at the scene of the accident, a person can weaken their claim.
In many circumstances, you should contact a car accident lawyer who can help you with and protect you from any claims. If you have sustained an injury, contact a car accident lawyer in Toronto or within your area. Even a small ache at the time of an accident could lead to a chronic or more serious condition further down the line. The sooner you contact a lawyer, the better your chances will be of protecting your interests.
When to Contact a Car Accident Lawyer
If you’re injured, then you should contact a car accident lawyer. However, there are other less obvious situations where it’s still in your best interest to contact a lawyer. Failing to do so can affect your insurance claims.
Here are several situations which should have you immediately contacting a car accident lawyer:
If you’re contacted by another insurance company: If the insurance company for the person you got into a car accident with contacts you, you should decline speaking with them and contact a car accident lawyer. In this situation, you need somebody who can protect your interests and know how to deal with insurance companies.
If you have problems with your insurance company: Sometimes things go smoothly with your insurance company. However, other times, they may resist your claim, hire their own lawyer, and/or suggest that you are not covered or show other problematic behaviour. If this is the case, you need to contact a car accident lawyer immediately. These are all indications that your insurance claim will be denied and that you could be on the hook for all accident-related damages.
Taverniti | Vashishth LLP handles personal injury claims ranging from car and road accidents, slips and falls, and catastrophic claims. We are equipped to handle the most complex legal and insurance issues arising from your accident. To arrange a free consultation with one of our lawyers, call (905)-264-8686 or visit our web site.