Do you know what to do immediately following a car accident? Many accident victims are surprised to find that the trauma and shock of the accident prevented them from taking the most important steps to protect their health, property, and the validity of possible personal injury claims. Knowing the most critical steps to take right after a crash is key to defending your rights and preserving your health.
Below, we’ve listed the four most critical actions to take in the moments after a crash:
- Get medical assistance. According to the Massachusetts Department of Transportation, it is most important to check yourself and any passengers for injuries. It is normal to feel traumatized and in shock after a car accident. However, you should not let this prevent you from seeking the medical attention you need. Realize that you could be in shock and not feel the pain of even some of the most serious injuries. In addition, if you wait to get your injuries checked out by a health professional, you may have difficulty proving that your car accident directly caused your injuries.
- Call the police or 911. It may seem obvious, but some people are so overwhelmed by what has happened that they just want to leave the scene as quickly as possible, even if they have suffered car damage or physical injury. The authorities can make certain a police report is written up (which is vital to your car accident claim) and that you get the medical assistance you need (which is vital to your health).
- Don’t admit fault or apologize. It’s a natural response to say, “I’m sorry,” after a car accident even if you didn’t do anything wrong. However, an apology could be harmful when it comes to getting compensation for your losses and injuries. The truth is that the cause of a car accident often isn’t clear until the crash has been investigated. Even if you truly think you were at fault, talking about it at the scene of the accident isn’t a good idea. Also, keep in mind that the accident could have been caused by an element unrelated to either driver, such as a defective auto part or poor road design.
- Collect information. The next most important action to take after a traffic collision is collecting information and evidence. If you are able, get information from all other drivers involved as well as from witnesses. If you have a camera, take pictures of the vehicle’s damage and road position, if possible. In addition, get the identifying information from the police officer making the report, such as his or her badge number.
Massachusetts & Rhode Island Car Accident Attorney
If you were seriously injured in your crash, an experienced personal injury attorney can help you make certain that you take all necessary steps toward getting better, moving past your accident, and collecting the appropriate compensation from at-fault parties and their insurance companies.
At the Bottaro Law Firm, LLC, we offer car accident victims and their families a free meeting with a skilled attorney. To schedule your meeting today, please call Mike Bottaro at (401) 777-7777, or complete a contact form.