What to Do Immediately After an Accident
Nobody expects to be in an accident when they travel in a car. Yet, every day, millions of people all throughout the United States are hurt in car accidents, and few are prepared for the aftermath.
Car accidents happen in the flash of an instant and can be jarring events, leaving even the hardiest of people stunned and shaken afterwards. Having a set plan of action in case you are ever in an accident is the best way to prepare yourself for any and all contingencies. The following is a list of what to do if you one day find yourself the victim of a car accident.
Seek Medical Attention
Obviously, the very first thing is make sure you are not seriously injured. If you are, call 911 immediately. After you have checked yourself thoroughly, attend to any passengers in your vehicle and then in the other driver’s car. If anyone appears to be hurt badly, do not hesitate to contact emergency services. Remember that internal injuries aren’t always obvious on the surface. If someone is complaining of severe pain or is unconscious, do not wait to call 911.
File a Police Report
Always file a police report. Whether you’ve been in a catastrophic accident or a minor fender-bender, it is best to have an unbiased mediator to assess the details of the accident. If the other driver tells you they rather not involve the police, insist on contacting them anyway. And when they do arrive, be as honest as possible about the accident and provide as much detail as you are able.
One thing you should never do is admit fault. Even if you believe you caused the car accident, you are better off letting the on-scene police officer or the courts to determine who the at-fault party may be. You should also avoid discussing any injuries you may have or even what level of pain you feel. Some injuries may not manifest symptoms until hours or days after the car accident. Freely admitting fault or stating that you are uninjured will only complicate any legal case you hope to make in the future.
While you are at the scene of the accident and in the days and weeks following, you should try to obtain as much physical evidence as possible. Legally-admissible evidence includes photos, videos, witness statements, medical records, and auto repair estimates. Do your best to document as much detail as you can about how the car accident occurred, such as the time of day, the scene itself, and anything else you can remember. The more evidence you have, the stronger your personal injury claim will end up being.
Inform Your Insurance Company
If you are able, contact your insurance representative before leaving the scene of the accident. They will explain what you should do next and how to file an accident claim. They will likely advise you not to sign any documents or to admit guilt or fault of any kind.
If you have to speak to an adjuster from the other driver’s insurance company in the coming days they will likely try to try to pressure you into answering questions that will only harm your car accident claim. They might even make a settlement offer to cover your injuries and losses. This offer will almost certainly be too low. You would be wise to remain mum and not blindly accept a settlement offer before speaking to a lawyer.
Call the Attorneys with The Advocates
If you’ve been involved in a car accident, The Montana Advocates are here to help guide you through this trying time. Our attorneys have decades of experience helping car accident victims just like you. Over the years, we’ve recovered millions of dollars for thousands of our clients.
The Montana Advocates can negotiate with insurance adjusters, recover wages you lost while being injured, obtain fair estimates for your damaged vehicle, and even gather comprehensive records from your medical providers. Our lawyers are experts at helping car accident victims, and we won’t stop fighting until your life has been restored to what it was before your accident. Contact our office today for a free evaluation of your case. Call 406-629-1411 or chat immediately with lawyer. Don’t wait. Contact us today!