What to Do After a Car Accident
In the immediate aftermath of a car accident, it’s easy to feel overwhelmed. You or your passengers may be seriously injured. You may experience shock, confusion, and a general numbness. But while it’s not possible to prevent the unexpected, it is possible to prepare for it. Below, we discuss what to do after a car accident to protect both yourself and your loved ones. To learn more, speak to a Birmingham AL car accident lawyer at Petro Law Firm today.
Do your best to think clearly and act rationally. Take a deep breath, check your body for injuries, and if possible, move your vehicle out of harm’s way by parking it at the side of the road.
Report the Accident
No matter how minor your car accident seems, you should call 911 and report it to the authorities. Many times, people underestimate the severity of their injuries at the accident scene — your body is pumping with adrenaline. However, if your condition worsens and you don’t report the accident, you may run into problems later on.
To prevent this, call 911, explain your situation to the emergency operator, and cooperate with the police investigation. They will create an accident report, which will serve as valuable evidence in your accident claim.
Collect Important Evidence
If you can safely take photographs and collect the names of witnesses to your crash, it’s in your best interest to do so. Your images of the crash scene, your injuries, and the vehicles involved will provide valuable evidence in your claim later.
Make sure to get the names and contact information of the people involved, as well as any eyewitnesses. Record the license, registration, and insurance information of the other drivers. Take note of the date and time of the crash, weather conditions, and any other relevant factors.
Keep in mind that some evidence is more subtle. For example, if your crash was due to a defective tire, you may have a claim against the tire manufacturer — but you’ll want to keep the tire as evidence. And if an 18-wheeler was involved in your crash, the vehicle may contain sophisticated black-box technology that can help you prove that the truck driver was driving recklessly.
Seek Medical Care
As we mentioned above, it’s easy to think that you were lucky — that you managed to escape with only a few bumps and bruises. Unfortunately, some injuries take days or even weeks to develop symptoms. This is especially true for back, neck, and brain injuries. If you’re in any pain, seek medical care. The doctors can evaluate your condition, assign a diagnosis, and recommend treatment.
However, you shouldn’t just leave it at an emergency room visit. If your pain worsens in the days following an accident, you should follow up with your doctors. They can help refine your diagnosis and ensure that you get the care you need.
It’s also important to understand that medical records are essential to your injury claims. Insurance companies, judges, and juries rely heavily on your medical records to determine the strength and value of your claims. If you don’t have sufficient medical records, you’ll have a harder time getting just compensation for your injuries. Be clear, concise, detailed, and honest about your injuries and symptoms.
Talk to an Experienced Car Accident Lawyer
A car accident case involves a lot of technical analysis, especially if a big company or a semi-truck was involved. To protect your legal rights, it is in your best interest to consult with an injury lawyer early on.
We can help you avoid costly mistakes, understand the true value of your claim, and negotiate with the insurance company. At Petro Law Firm, all initial consultations are completely free — and we will not charge you an attorney fee unless we negotiate a settlement or win your case.
Since you won’t have to deal with any out-of-pocket costs, why would you try to handle your injury claim on your own?
File an Injury Claim or Lawsuit
File an insurance claim or a lawsuit. Your lawyer will deal with the insurance adjuster and defense attorneys — giving you time and space to heal and recover. But don’t postpone your claim. Birmingham has strict filing deadlines, and if you miss these timelines, you may lose out on valuable compensation.
Learn More About What to Do After a Car Accident
In order to maximize your chances of recovering damages in a claim, it’s important to understand what to do after a car accident. At Petro Law Firm, we have handled countless claims for people just like you. We will help you investigate your claim and inform you of your legal options. Contact us today to learn more.