With thousands upon thousands of car accidents occurring in the United States each year, even the best, most responsible of drivers could and will eventually be blindsided by a negligent motorist. With this in mind, it is imperative that every driver know what to do in case of a traffic collision. The steps you take immediately after a crash can heavily influence your ability to receive full compensation from a subsequent injury claim.
If you are in a car accident, remember these 5 simple steps:
- Check for injuries: Who is hurt, and how badly? Your first concern must be of those in the accident, including the people in the other vehicle and any nearby pedestrians. Whoever can be moved safely should be taken off the side of the road, away from the wreckage. If no one is seriously injured, everyone is sure to appreciate your caring instincts and it should smooth over the rest of the process.
- Call for help: No matter how extensive the damage or injuries, you should always call the authorities. Oftentimes, a police officer will need to redirect traffic away from the site. It is also never a bad idea to have paramedics there in a hurry, just in case. Be sure to get a copy of any reports the police and the medics create.
- Exchange information: If possible, start getting necessary information from everyone involved in the car accident. You will need identifying information and insurance information. It is helpful to write this information down and take pictures of any pertinent cards or paperwork.
- Gather evidence: Once help is on the way and you have the information you absolutely need, it is time to try to get what evidence you can to improve your claim. Photographs of the scene and eyewitness testimonies often prove to be the most useful. Take pictures from multiple angles and get statements from multiple people.
- Contact an attorney: Before talking to your own insurance company about what happened, you should really consider contacting a personal injury attorney first. Sometimes you can inadvertently increase your own liability in an accident by saying the wrong thing. Letting a lawyer handle all insurance company communications from the start minimizes the chance of this happening.
If you live in Louisiana and are caught in a car accident caused by a negligent driver, you can come to Scott, Vicknair, Hair and Checki, LLC and our New Orleans car accident attorneys for help. We are backed by both a long list of happy client testimonials and an impressive history of case results. Contact our office today to learn more about your rights and options after being in a crash that was not your fault.