6 Steps to Take Following an Auto Accident

Getting into an auto accident is a scary event. Trying to think of exactly what steps you should follow after an accident can be difficult given the high-stress environment that often follows. To help protect your rights, this blog outlines the specific steps you need to take in order to make sure everything is handled properly. Please review these steps, and consider printing this blog off to keep in your glove box so it is available should you ever be in this situation.

Step One: Make Sure Everyone is Safe
The first and most important thing you can do is check to make sure everyone is safe. If there are any injuries, call 911 immediately to get an ambulance to come and administer the medical care that is needed. If your vehicle can be moved out of a lane of traffic, try to move it to the shoulder. Many accidents occur when people are hit because vehicles have not been moved to a safe location.

Step Two: Call the Police
The police should be contacted whenever an accident occurs. They will be able to help ensure everyone is safe not only from the accident, but from nearby traffic in the area. Additionally, the police will be able to issue you a report that includes their actions on the incident. This police report will be necessary when filing an insurance claim or even a lawsuit, if it comes to that.

Step Three: Get Checked Out by a Doctor
Even if you weren’t injured to the point that you needed to be transported to the hospital, you should always get seen by a doctor as soon as possible. They can check for head, neck or back injuries and tell you what types of symptoms to watch out for over the coming weeks since some problems don’t present themselves right away. Minor problems can turn into major ones if they are not treated right away.

Step Four: Gather Evidence
Even before you file a claim, depending on the situation, you will want to gather as much evidence as possible. This includes getting a copy of the police report, taking pictures of the accident scene, getting copies of any medical records, taking down the names and numbers of all parties and witnesses, and more. While this information may not always be needed, it will be invaluable should you get into a dispute with the insurance company or you need to file a personal injury lawsuit.

Step Five: Contact An Attorney
Even before you contact your insurance company, you should consider contacting an attorney if you or someone in the accident suffered injuries – even if you were at fault or were in a single-car accident. The insurance company may ask questions that cut off your rights to recovery if you are not prepared. You may not realize all of the benefits to which you are entitled, so it is best to find that out before you speak with them or otherwise file your claim. You will also want to talk with an attorney to see if you have a good personal injury suit. There are many factors that can be considered for this type of thing, and speaking with an experienced attorney is the best way to really understand your situation.
Step Six: Contact Your Insurance Company
As soon as you are able, and after you know your rights, you will need to contact your insurance company to begin processing your claim. This can be done over the phone, through your insurance company’s app, online, or any other option that is offered. The important thing is to make sure you have it filed properly right away so there are no delays in getting the payout you deserve.
If you find yourself in this type of situation and need help, contact us to set up a consultation today.

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Carla D. Aikens, P.L.C.

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