It can be challenging to think clearly in the moments following a car accident. It’s even more confusing figuring out what you need to do and how you can protect yourself and other drivers on the road. The trauma and emotions associated with a car accident cause drivers to make mistakes that might affect their right to get compensation.
On the other hand, some drivers are unaware of what to do. This article will provide you with a list of what you should do after a car accident. These actions won’t just help you stay safe after an accident but also ensure your rights are duly protected.
Contact a Smyrna automobile accident attorney if you or a loved one get into a traffic crash.
Steps to Take After a Smyrna Car Accident
The steps outlined below are essential after a car accident to protect your rights and ensure you receive maximum compensation.
Make Sure Everyone Is Safe
After a car accident in Smyrna, check to ensure everyone involved in the accident is safe. Then, if you can, leave your vehicle and turn on your emergency flashers. Call 911 and get the police to the scene as quickly as possible if anyone is injured.
If you have any flares, set them around the location or turn on your hazard lights if you have none. This will alert other drivers to the problem. You can’t leave the accident scene till the police arrive.
Remember that your overall safety and the safety of the parties involved in the accident are more important than your financial compensation. Therefore, these safety precautions are necessary right away.
Assess the Car Accident Scene and Exchange Information
Once you confirm that everyone involved is safe, start taking inventory of what happened. Doing this will effectively protect your rights when seeking compensation for damages. Begin with taking pictures of the vehicles involved in the accident. Also, snap photos of debris and the general location of the accident.
One mistake people make after an accident scene is not moving their car. Move your vehicle out of the way if it is safe to prevent further accidents on the road. Also, when talking to the police, never admit wrongdoings. This could affect your chances if your case ends up in court. You can express concern for the accident but do not apologize for the accident or accept fault.
Seek out the other party involved in the accident and exchange insurance information and contact. This is crucial if you will be making claims later. If the other driver has no insurance coverage, collect their valid contact information and license number.
Note the other driver’s car’s make, model, and license plate number. You also need the details of the responding police officers for follow-up on the investigation.
Seek Medical Attention
After a car accident, you might want to ignore the minor injuries you have to avoid a trip to the doctor. However, it is never a good idea. Therefore, get a complete evaluation done as soon as possible and make sure it’s on record.
Sometimes, you don’t notice injury symptoms until days, weeks, and months after an auto accident. This is common in drivers who suffer neck injuries like whiplash. Apart from serious injuries, many wounds take days before they appear.
An auto accident could create a rush of adrenaline, activating your body’s fight or flight response. The heightened adrenaline level might make you not feel the pain from an injury until days after the accident. When making an appointment with the doctor, ensure that you’re seeing the correct type of physician.
Visit the ER if you’re experiencing immediate pain after an accident. However, if you start experiencing symptoms days after, schedule a visit to your primary care physician. Ensure these visits happen not longer than 72 hours after the accident as it could affect your claim in court. In addition, insurance companies might claim your injuries were not severe, so you didn’t seek immediate medical attention.
Determine the Type of Coverage Available
Figuring out the coverage available after an automobile accident usually depends on who’s at fault and which coverage each driver maintained. A Smyrna automobile accident attorney can help you figure out this information if you’re confused.
The at-fault driver will cover your car and other property damages if you’re not at fault. Their insurance will also take care of your medical bills and that of your passenger if you have any.
If you carry personal injury protection coverage (MedPay), it will help to cover lost wages, medical bills, and funeral expenses in some cases. If you also have uninsured/underinsured coverage, it will cover property damage and medical bills.
Call Your Insurance Company
Once you know the type of coverage available after a car accident, call your insurance carrier to report the auto accident. It’s best if you’re the first one to call after a crash instead of allowing the other driver’s insurance carrier to report a claim first.
You should also ensure you make the call within a reasonable time frame. Failure to do this might put your right to fair compensation at risk. Your insurance company might send an insurance adjuster to the accident scene to properly assess the damage.
Start Gathering Records
Even if the auto accident was relatively minor, keep careful records of everything following the car accident. That is:
- Ensure you keep your motor vehicle’s inspection and damage records.
- Keep repair estimates, receipts, and valuations if your car was totaled.
- Obtain the police report of the accident.
Your Smyrna automobile accident attorney can do this for you if you can’t handle it yourself. It’s also crucial that you keep careful medical bills and treatment records. You can request this information from your doctor. If it’s necessary to take time off work for recovery, ensure you have a report ready that reflects how the accident affected your earnings. You might have to create a folder where you can safely store these records.
We’re Here if You Need Us!
After taking these steps, you’ll need to hire an attorney to protect your rights. From the moment you’re injured, your Smyrna personal injury attorney gets to work to protect your rights and ensure you receive maximum compensation to help you recover.
Car accident attorney Jamie Ballard works tirelessly to speed up the claim process. She always seeks maximum compensation and takes the necessary steps to ensure a favorable result. If you suffered injuries in a motor vehicle accident in Smyrna, speak to a Smyrna personal injury attorney at Jamie Ballard Law today to understand your rights.