5 Things to do Immediately After a Car Accident
Most of us get into a car or truck daily, but the thought of getting into an accident isn’t a constant worry. You may consider yourself a cautious driver, but that doesn’t mean that others on the road are following the rules. The odds of getting into an accident during your lifetime are significant, and you may even become seriously hurt. If that crash isn’t your fault, how do you protect your rights?
In one recent year in Kentucky, there were more than 22,000 people injured in car accidents and over 600 deaths. As our roads become more congested and there are more drivers behind the wheel, the risk of a crash goes up. Even the types of accidents are changing, with distracted driving accidents becoming one of the leading causes of crashes in recent years.
If you or someone you love has been hurt in a traffic accident, what you do immediately after that crash could have an impact on your ability to recover your losses. Accidents can be emotional and overwhelming events, so having this knowledge in advance can be helpful. Whether you’ve been in a fender bender or a multi-car pileup, here five things to do immediately after a car accident:
- Remain at the Scene.
Car accidents can be terrifying, and they might take place at the most inconvenient times. One of the worst things you can do, however, is to leave the scene of an accident before first responders arrive. In fact, you could be charged with the crime of leaving the scene of an accident if you don’t stick around. Depending on the circumstances of the crash, you may wish to move to a safer location to prevent secondary accidents.
- Call for Help.
Don’t assume that everyone else is calling for help because they might think the same about you. Instead, call the police immediately and request an ambulance if you or anyone else could be seriously injured. You need the authorities on site to write up a police report and issue a citation to anyone who broke the law while causing the accident.
- Collect Evidence.
Provided you aren’t taken away from the scene by ambulance, you should collect as much evidence as possible while you are still on site. This includes taking photos and video with your phone before vehicles are moved or towed away. Also, speak with witnesses and collect their contact information as well as the information of the other drivers.
- Seek Medical Attention.
Even if you did not leave the scene of the accident with medical personnel, you should seek medical attention as soon as possible after the crash. Some accidents can result in internal injuries or strains that may not be immediately evident. It’s best to get examined by a medical professional quickly so that they can run tests and document your injuries.
- Call a Lawyer.
When you’ve been involved in an accident, you’re going to receive some conflicting messages, some of which are not in your best interests. An insurance company, even your own, may contact you and try to minimize your damages so that they won’t have to pay what they truly owe. Therefore, it’s never in your best interests to sign releases or give a recorded statement without first speaking to an experienced personal injury attorney.
Car accident cases can be complicated because there may be several parties at fault and issues that are in dispute. Since Kentucky is a comparative negligence state, the other driver’s insurance company may try to place as much blame as possible in your corner, so they can minimize their exposure. If you were hurt through no fault of your own, you should not have to bear the financial and emotional burden of your losses.
Lanna Martin Kilgore, Attorney at Law, is an experienced Kentucky car accident attorney who will not only protect your rights but also fight for the full and fair compensation you deserve. Contact our Bowling Green office now at 270.846.3700 or reach us online to schedule a free consultation.