No matter how cautiously you drive, there are chances that you might experience an accident at some point in time. If not yours, it might be a result of another driver’s mistake. You should thus know how to respond to the scene. Based on advice from experienced car accident lawyers, this guide explains what to do after an auto accident.
Make Sure You and Other Passengers Are Safe
Before anything else, put your personal safety above everything else. If you smell leaking gas, get yourself and other passengers out of the vehicle immediately. However, stay at the scene. If you leave, you will not just face significant issues filing your claim but may also find yourself in legal trouble if someone was injured or killed. If you feel comfortable, pull your car into a safe place.
If you or other passengers are injured, call 911 to seek emergency help. In some cases, you won’t realize you’ve been hurt until you’ve calmed down, so it’s best to visit your doctor anyway. It will help determine if you have sustained any injuries.
Call Law Enforcement Personnel
Once you’ve examined your health, immediately call the police. Depending on which state you’re located in, you might be legally required to do this. When the police obtain details for the accident report, try to note down the name and badge number of the investigating officer and the report number. These will be important when you go on to file your lawsuit.
Collect as Much Information as You Can
As you wait for the police to arrive, collect the data you might need for your claims, such as the name, address, phone number, insurance information, license plate number, and driver’s license number of the other driver(s) involved in the collision. Capture images and footage of the scene using your smartphone. These can serve as valuable evidence for your case.
Look around for anyone who may have witnessed the accident. Note down their names, addresses, and contact numbers, if possible.
Hire a Car Accident Attorney
Perhaps the most critical step to take after an auto accident is to hire an experienced attorney. If you or a loved one were injured, the specialized lawyer would help maximize your recovery. Using the evidence and witnesses you have, they’ll help prepare your case and assist throughout the trial process.
By now, you should have developed a clear idea of what to do after an auto accident.