Knowing what to do after a crash can be difficult—especially with the potential for physical and emotional trauma. Even the best drivers get into car accidents, and it is critical to protect yourself after the crash, both physically and financially.
Here are 6 steps you should take immediately after getting into a car accident:
- Check for injuries. Due to the adrenaline and disorientation, you may not initially realize you are injured. Examine yourself and your passengers to see if everyone is ok. If not, call 911 immediately and try to avoid moving.
- Get to a safe place. Unless your injury or vehicle damage prevents you from safely relocating, walk or pull over to the shoulder. A vehicle in the middle of the road could cause another accident.
- Call 911. If you haven’t already called, do so now. In some states, calling the police after an accident is required. In Kansas specifically, you must report an accident if it caused an injury, death, or at least $1,000 in property damage.
- Exchange information with other drivers. This information should include names, phone numbers, addresses, driver’s license numbers, names of insurers, and policy numbers.We also recommend including details about injuries, if applicable.
- Document as much as you can. Memory does not improve over time, and “jogging your memory” days or weeks after an accident may cause you to “remember” something that didn’t actually happen. As soon as possible after reaching safety, write down specific details about the events leading up to the crash and immediately after. Also include information about the police officers who arrive at the scene, such as names and badge numbers.
- Call a lawyer. Even if you and the other involved driver(s) leave on amicable terms, calling a lawyer right away can be a powerful way to 1) prevent losing a case in a civil court, or 2) arm yourself with what you need to obtain compensation. This step should also take place before getting in touch with your insurance company, as your insurance agent’s central goal is to avoid providing the coverage you need.
Each of these steps can prevent additional injuries, trouble with the law, misremembered details, and a lost personal injury case. If you follow this guide, you will have the best possible chance of achieving a positive outcome after an unexpected disaster.
Let Gates Shields Handle Your Case
Calling an attorney after an accident can feel unnecessary or even insensitive. However, our team at Gates Shields Ferguson Swall Hammond P.A. is dedicated to taking care of the legal hassle of this event while you focus on what’s most important: your recovery. Whether we file a claim against another driver or defend you against false accusations, you can trust us to handle your case with care, skill, and tenacity.