In 2020, over 42,000 people in the US died in vehicle crashes. Between drunk driving, distracted driving, falling asleep at the wheel, and reckless driving, unfortunately, car accidents are all too common.
Statistically, you are likely to be involved in a car accident at some point in your life. It’s good to have an understanding of the actions you should and should not take immediately following a car accident.
After the Accident Don’ts
There are several things you don’t want to do after a car accident:
- Leave the scene – It’s never a good idea to simply leave the scene of a car accident. Make sure you call 911 and file a police report. If anyone needs emergency medical attention, make sure they get it.
- Panic – Car accidents can be overwhelming. It can be all too easy to lose your cool, become upset or angry, and not think clearly. Take a deep breath, and keep calm. Make sure everyone who is injured gets the help they need before you do anything else.
- Give any recorded statements – Make sure you speak to your personal injury attorney before giving any statements to insurance adjusters. This is the best way to ensure you don’t say anything to negatively affect your case.
- Post about the accident on the internet – You should not share details about your accident or your case on social media, blogs, online videos, podcasts, or any other content on the internet. These posts could potentially be used against you and your case.
- Release your medical records without approval – Do not authorize the release of your official medical records to anyone without speaking to your attorney first. It is critical that you understand your rights.
- Accept a settlement before your injuries are healed – In many cases, people are pressured into settling a case early, before they have completely healed. This often results in you receiving less money than your claim is worth. Most attorneys will advise against this.
- File a lawsuit without an attorney – You may think this is a way to cut costs, but it can actually end up costing you more money in the long run. The majority of lawsuits following a car accident are complicated. An attorney can help you to understand all the legal details and represent your interests.
After the Accident Do’s
On the other hand, if you have been involved in a car accident, there are several actions you should take:
- Seek medical attention – If you don’t have an obvious injury after an accident, you might think you are fine because you feel fine. However, it’s important to get checked out anyway. In many cases, the adrenaline flooding your body after an accident is causing you not to feel your injuries right away. It’s important to document any physical injuries you may have, and this can be done by being evaluated by a healthcare professional.
- File a police report – Even if the accident doesn’t seem like a big deal, it’s always better to call the police and have an official record of the accident with them. They can also direct traffic around the accident if necessary.
- Take photos or videos – You want to document the scene as much as possible if you are not seriously injured and don’t need to seek medical attention immediately. The more you document the evidence at the scene, the more information and evidence you will have to point to later.
- Get the contact information for the other driver and any witnesses – It’s important to get the contact information of anyone who was involved in the accident or observed it. Many times, witnesses won’t want to hang around for the necessary amount of time it can take to leave a statement with the police so it’s good to be able to contact them later.
- Follow the doctor’s advice – Return for any necessary follow-up or physical therapy. The physician will know how to best treat your injuries.
Always Get Help
Car accidents are often unavoidable, and it’s good to be prepared next time you are in this situation. Everyone makes mistakes, and sometimes conditions or things that aren’t in anyone’s control cannot be prevented. If you’ve been involved in a car accident recently, don’t hesitate to reach out to us here at Hagen Rosskopf Attorneys at Law.