When you’ve been involved in a car accident, the chaos and confusion may leave you overwhelmed about what to do next. Of course, your safety is of paramount concern and immediate action is necessary to make sure you don’t take matters from bad to worse. So, while the accident itself is devastating, here’s what you need to do right away to protect yourself.
What Everyone Should Do Immediately After A Car Accident
Secure yourself and any passengers. Getting your car out of harm’s way should be the first thing you do if you’re able, as oncoming traffic can cause additional damage. If you cannot move the vehicle, turn on your hazard lights to warn other drivers. Then, check to see whether you or your passengers have experienced injuries that need attention.
Call 911. You’ll need to contact the proper authorities as soon as possible after the accident for a couple of reasons. First, you want an ambulance to be dispatched immediately if you or any of your passengers has suffered injuries. Second, you should put the authorities on alert so they can divert traffic as necessary, clean up accident debris or tow vehicles.
Gather contact information for drivers of other vehicles. You should write down as much as possible about those involved in the car accident, as there’s a good chance you’ll need to be in touch with them. Take notes on:
The names of drivers and passengers;
License plate numbers of all cars;
Insurance company information; and,
Contact information for any eye witnesses.
Document the scene and collision circumstances. In addition to taking notes, make to capture other information about of the accident. Use your cellphone camera to take pictures of the vehicles, the intersection and the scene after the impact. These will help you in the future if you need help recalling important facts or talking to insurance adjusters.
Retain a qualified lawyer to seek your legal remedies. While the above tips are helpful in the immediate aftermath of a car accident, your next step should involve researching and hiring an attorney. If the collision wasn’t your fault, you may be entitled to compensation for your physical injuries and monetary losses. You’re at a disadvantage if you try to represent yourself in discussions with an insurance company, so you need a qualified lawyer to protect your interests. In addition, an attorney has the legal background to represent you if your matter goes to court.
For more information on what to do after a car accident, please contact the attorneys at Stockard, Johnston, Brown & Netardus, P.C. in Amarillo, Texas. Our lawyers have experience in dealing with aggressive insurance companies and can negotiate a fair settlement. If discussions fail, we take the battle to court to get you the compensation you deserve.