How to React After a Car Accident To Legally Protect Yourself
Nobody plans on getting into a car accident, and it’s natural to panic a bit after the fact. Things are even more intense if you or a loved one gets injured during the collision. There are specific steps you should follow directly after getting into a car accident in order to protect you and your loved ones. We’ll outline the most important steps below. Consider writing them down and keeping them in your vehicle, along with any useful contact information, so you’re ready if you do get into an accident.
Get to Safety
The most important step for you to follow after getting into an accident is to get you and your loved ones to safety. That means getting away from a heavily damaged vehicle if it’s on fire or it may combust for some reason. It also means getting away from the scene of the accident if it’s on a busy road or another hazardous environment. Do what’s necessary to make sure everyone on the scene is as safe as possible.
Document the Accident
The next step is to document the accident as much as possible. This is especially important if you believe the other driver is at fault. Take photos with your phone, write down any details of the event you can remember, and try to capture every bit of information you can about the event.
Gather Information from the Other Party
Along with getting information about the accident itself, it’s important to get as much information from any other driver involved as well. Get their names, snap photos of license plates, get photos of insurance cards, and anything else you can. The more information you have about the other people involved, the better. This is all information that your insurance company and your attorney can use.
Don’t Admit Responsibility
Even if you believe you are the reason the accident occurred, don’t make the mistake of admitting responsibility to anyone. The accident could have been caused by elements out of your control that you don’t know about. Never admit responsibility, or you set yourself up for a potential lawsuit while hiring your chances of a successful insurance claim.
When is the Best Time to Contact an Attorney?
If you’ve been injured in a car accident, it’s important to avoid talking with an insurance company until after you’ve spoken with an Injury lawyer in Orange County. A skilled attorney can prepare you to talk with your insurance company and even deal with the insurance claim process on your behalf. Every insurance company is interested in paying out as little money as possible for a car accident. Talking with any insurance provider too soon could result in you saying the wrong thing and putting yourself at a serious disadvantage when it comes time to negotiate compensation for your injuries. By talking with a qualified lawyer, you can avoid this risk and give yourself the best chance of achieving substantial compensation.
File a Police Claim
After speaking with your attorney briefly, you want to get a police officer out to the scene of the accident so they can document information related to the accident. Call local law enforcement to the scene if an officer isn’t already there and provide the officer with specific information about the accident. The information will get put into a police report, and you or your lawyer can obtain a copy of that report when filing a claim and fighting for compensation.
Write down the phone number for an attorney you trust, and keep information for your insurance provider, local law enforcement, and any other experts you want to rely on for help after an accident. Add this information to a paper with these steps listed out, and you’ll feel more confident about how to proceed after getting into an accident.