Being involved in a car accident can be terrifying. You may be in shock and find it difficult to know where to begin.
Immediately after an accident, you should take the following steps for safety and legal purposes:
1. Move to safety
First and foremost, it's crucial that you move out of the way of other traffic to ensure that you do not sustain any more injuries or damage to your vehicle. If possible, you should go to the shoulder of the road, or move away from the vehicle if there are flames or any threats of immediate danger.
2. Call 911
If you believe you have sustained serious injuries, you should call 911 to be taken to the emergency room. Your injuries may not seem to be critical if your body is still in shock from the accident. Take any pain you have very seriously, as injuries can worsen in the hours or days following an accident.
Even if you have not sustained any major injuries, you should call 911 so the police can document the accident. Police officers can help facilitate the exchange of information and decide whether or not immediate medical attention is necessary for the victims.
3. Take photos
If you are physically stable and safe, you should take several photos of the accident. You should take pictures of the vehicles, your injuries, and the scene so these can be used as evidence of the accident. Use your cell phone to take the photos, or ask a bystander, if you do not have a camera with you.
4. Swap information
In any auto accident, you should swap information with the other party involved in the crash. It's important to receive their name, address, phone number, and insurance information. An attorney will help you uncover who was at fault so it is important that you do not say, "I'm sorry" at the scene of the accident. Fault may look very different between you and an outside source, so do not jump to any conclusions about who was at fault for the accident.
5. Seek medical attention
If you feel injured, or if the police officers encourage you to seek medical attention, you should go to the emergency room immediately after an accident. Do not wait to see a doctor, as your injuries should be treated and documented promptly to properly care for your physical wellbeing and your case.
Once you make the visit to the emergency room, you should always ask follow up questions for referrals to other medical professionals. You may need to see a neurologist, orthopedist, surgeon, your primary care physician, or other types of doctors to treat your injuries properly.
Emergency room personnel are equipped to work with trauma patients, but they are not specialists.
6. Call an attorney
It's important that you contact an attorney before contacting your insurance company. Insurance companies may not have your best interest in mind, and having an experienced auto accident attorney on your side can help you receive the most compensation for the damages.
Do not make any statements or sign any documents until an attorney has revised them.
If you have been involved in a car accident, contact The Law Offices of Hilda L. Sibrian, P.C. immediately. We are here to help you. Call our Houston office today.