Getting in a car accident can be a shocking experience. You may be disoriented, but that shouldn’t stop you from doing the right thing. While a car accident lawyer in Las Vegas can help, you must also act accordingly to protect your rights and interests. Below are the important steps to take after you’ve been involved in a car crash.
Step 1: Check Yourself and Others for Injuries
Car crashes may seem small, but the resulting health impact may be alarming. It is important to check yourself and other passengers in your vehicle immediately after the crash. If okay, proceed to check on the other driver and their passengers.
Make sure to contact emergency healthcare services if there are any injuries requiring immediate medical attention. You should also avoid carrying badly hurt passengers, especially as you risk mishandling them and further complicating their situation.
Ensure to keep injured parties awake and conscious by engaging them in a conversation and offering reassurance until the medical team arrives. You can discuss other issues surrounding the car crash if all parties are okay.
Step 2: Get to Safety
It is important that you get yourself and others involved in the accident to safety. Doing this will prevent further hazards to other road users unaware of the accident.
Ensure your vehicle is moved away from the accident scene to prevent traffic jams and protect other road users from multiple accidents. Moving to safety also allows you to calmly exchange information with the other driver while you wait for the medical team to arrive.
During this period, ensure to call for help, if needed, and also contact the appropriate law enforcement in your area.
Contacting a law enforcement officer is important to your case and subsequent claim. This gives you one of the first credible reports for filing a personal injury claim in the future.
Step 3: Wait for Help
With your vehicles safely removed from the road, now is the time to wait for help. It is important to avoid admitting to faults or suggesting you are at fault while the police or medical team is in transit. You should also use this period to take as many photographs and video evidence of the accident scene.
While taking the evidence, be sure that you have captured the important information, including the affected areas, the exact location of the accident, the damage to your vehicle and the other driver’s vehicle, as well as their license plate.
You can also take down a detailed description of the accident as it happened. Ensure that you have only documented the fact of the incident and nothing more. Keep in mind the date, location, weather conditions, and other important information.
Step 4: Provide Detailed Information to the Police
As earlier stated, informing law enforcement of your accident is the right thing to do. They will arrive at the accident scene, take stock, and speak to both parties. They will also prepare an initial statement reflecting their observation regarding the accident scene. Ensure to obtain a copy of this statement, as it is important towards filing a claim in the future.
Step 5: Collect and Collate Evidence
Accident scenes are often chaotic. However, this should not stop you from collecting relevant and viable information to protect yourself and improve your chances of filing an accident claim.
While at the accident scene, take as many photos and videos as possible. Ensure that the photos and videos capture the extent of the accident to your vehicle and the other person’s vehicle.
You should also collect the other driver’s information, including their name, insurance provider, and others. You can also speak to eyewitnesses and get their details to further support your case.
Make sure to take down the names of the officers that have responded to the accident scene as well as obtain a copy of the police report. These documents and evidence will help your lawyer guide you correctly during the claims process.
Step 6: Get Medical Attention
It is important to seek medical attention whether you have been injured or not. A medical assessment can help to uncover underlying issues or delayed symptoms. This can also help you to better prepare your claim case, especially if you’re looking to claim medical costs or other related bills during the claims process.
Step 7: Speak to a Car Accident Lawyer
Accident victims are more likely to get a bigger settlement when they hire and work with car accident attorneys. While you can represent yourself in such cases, working with an attorney will help you to uncover other damages you may be able to claim. Attorneys also leverage their experience and knowledge to negotiate favorably for clients.
Following the above steps will significantly improve your chances of claiming damages after an accident.