As a personal injury attorney, I realize that most people go into shock immediately following a car accident. No one expects for one to occur, and even a little fender-bender can be startling, if not traumatic. Major accidents can create severe injuries, which only further complicates the issue. It is common to become confused and unsteady on your feet. However, if you can follow these steps immediately following an accident, you will be better prepared for your future injury case.
1. Get to safety. It is entirely possible to be hit a second time while waiting for help to arrive. If your vehicle has been pushed into the middle of the road and is drivable, pull over to the shoulder. Be sure to put your hazards and lights on and use your horn if necessary to alert other drivers. Keep your hazards on and stay in the car unless there is a wide enough shoulder for you to safely exit the vehicle and stand away from it.
2. Call the police. Be sure to call the police and ask them to come to the scene, even if it was a minor accident. Make sure they file a police report and that you get a copy of it since that will help confirm what happened later on.
3. Call a personal injury attorney. As a personal injury attorney, I welcome phone calls at any stage after an accident. Calling my office right away will allow me to potentially come to the scene of the accident or, at least, meet with you while the events are fresh in your mind, and it is still possible to gather evidence.
4. Take pictures. Pull out your smartphone and start snapping pictures. You should document everything, including the condition of both vehicles, the road, the street signs near the accident, etc. These pictures can help paint a picture for what happened and serve as a reminder if necessary.
5. Go to the doctor. It is critical that you seek medical care right away. The shock of an accident can prevent you from feeling the full extent of your injuries, but visiting the doctor early will allow them to begin your treatment plan so you can recover as soon as possible. Additionally, your medical file will be used to determine the long-term impact of your injuries, along with how much your care could end up costing you.
A Personal Injury Attorney Can Help You Process Your Claim
The sooner you call a personal injury attorney, the better. Being injured in a car accident can be traumatic and so can dealing with the insurance company after the fact. An attorney can become your advocate, so you have someone on your side during this process. The initial consultation is free, so make the call as soon as you can.