As a Phoenix AZ personal injury lawyer, I understand that the moments following an accident are very difficult for clients. Adrenaline is pumping and emotions run high as you try to figure out what just happened and what to do next.
Taking proper actions to protect your rights at this crucial time can make your case significantly stronger. If you are involved in an accident here are 5 things you should try to do at the scene:
1. Protect the scene. If possible the vehicles involved in the accident should not be moved, but, while it is imperative to protect the scene of an accident, it is more important to stay safe. If necessary move your vehicle to a safer location. Ensure that you do not leave the scene of an accident and if you are moving to a safer location, communicate this to the other driver.
2. Call the Police and Exchange Information. A police report will make it easier to establish what happened and who was at fault. Even if there is not substantial damage to the vehicles it is still a good idea to call the police and get a report done. You also want to get as much information as you can from the other driver including driver’s license, insurance card, and license plate number. This information will make it easier, for your personal injury lawyer or yourself, to open a claim with their insurance company. You also want to ensure you get contact information for witnesses if possible.
3. Take pictures. Because of the intense feelings one has after an accident it is common for people to forget or misremember key details. Pictures of an accident scene help tell the story of what happened in a way people sometimes cannot. Take pictures of both cars and the damage to each. This can really help your personal injury lawyer explain the impact and damage to the other driver’s insurance adjustor.
4. Seek Medical attention. Ensure you seek medical attention as soon as possible including emergency treatment if necessary. Many people do not feel the effects of the accident until a day or two later. If this is the case you want to ensure you seek and get proper treatment to determine your injuries.
5. Call a Personal Injury Lawyer. It is very important to contact your attorney as soon as possible after an accident. Insurance companies will seek a recorded statement from you following an accident, and you want to ensure you speak to a lawyer to ensure you know your rights and are protected. An attorney can assist you in gathering evidence, communicating with insurance companies, and helping get your vehicle repaired. These steps are important to protect your rights and ensure you are properly compensated for your losses.
Thanks to our friend and blog author, Freddy Saavedra of Alex & Associates, P.C., for his insight into car accident and personal injury practice.