Guide: Dos and Don’ts After A Car Accident
After the shock of experiencing a car accident, it can be challenging to remember what you need to do following the wreck. If you have children or other passengers in your car and your adrenaline is still high, staying focused can be even more difficult. The team at Car Accident Help understands, and we want to help you know what steps you should take following an auto accident.
We’ve put together this guide as a tool for you to save and use. Share the link with other drivers in your household to bookmark on their phones. After an accident, everyone should know their rights and what information to collect to protect them in the future.
The Don’ts: What To Avoid Following An Accident
Sometimes it’s easier to learn what to avoid first. If you remember these few things not to do, your life after the accident will be easier.
Don’t leave the scene
If you are in an accident, sometimes that feeling of “fight or flight” can kick in. It’s best to stay calm and where you are. It is crucial that you do not “take flight” or leave. You may need to wait a while for the police to arrive, but staying is essential. If you choose to go, you may be charged with a crime.
Don’t admit fault
Discussions about fault at the scene of an accident are always something to avoid. Do not admit fault if you are involved in an accident. If someone does ask you to admit fault or take another action that implies you are at fault, you should always respectfully decline. If the police ask questions about the accident, stick to the facts and do not admit or place blame.
Don’t provide recorded or signed statements
In the hours or days following an accident, you may be called by your insurance company or the insurance company of the other parties involved. Before providing a statement, consult with your attorney. If you are asked to record a statement or sign a document, be cautious and aware that these actions may have unintended consequences.
Don’t post about your accident online
The videos, photos, and words we post online are forever. Accidents can be scary, traumatic, and sometimes life-changing. After your wreck, you may want to post comments, photos, or updates to your Facebook page, Instagram, or other social media profiles, understandably so, especially if you want to provide an update to family and friends. However, this information can be used against you. Since the information you post is discoverable by the insurance company, the information could be misconstrued, or used against you making a recovery more difficult, or not at all. It’s always best to avoid posts about your accident specifically. For some cases, our team of experienced car accident attorneys may ask you to avoid using social media altogether until your case is over.
Don’t agree to a settlement without an experienced attorney
The Car Accident Help team in Oklahoma City is passionate about helping Oklahomans reach the best outcome after experiencing a personal injury because of the actions of another party. You do not need to navigate the complexities of insurance companies, attorneys, and settlements alone. We are ready to help. Our team of experienced car accident attorneys has the results to back it up, too.
The Dos: What to Do Following a Car Accident
The following steps are suggestions for you to follow to ensure you take the necessary actions to protect yourself after an auto accident.
Check for injuries
Immediately after the accident, try calming your adrenaline, take a deep breath, and look around. Check yourself for injuries and then the other passengers in your vehicle. If you can, look outside your vehicle for anyone else injured in another car or on the roadway. By collecting this information, you will have information to help emergency services.
Whether a severe personal injury or no personal injuries were caused by the accident, you should call 911 so that police can respond to the accident. Insurance companies often require a police report to process claims and determine fault. Additionally, it is helpful to have a police presence to protect you and the other vehicle(s) while you are on the roadway.
Protect the scene
After the accident, turn off your engine, turn on your emergency lights to warn other drivers, and wait for help. If your vehicle is obstructing traffic, you may want to move it if there are no severe damages or injuries. However, if there are damages or injuries, keep your vehicle where it is unless it is necessary to move it (for safety or the law).
Take photos and videos
In the moments following the accident, use your phone camera to safely take photos and videos of your car and the other vehicles involved. Capture images of the damage to all vehicles and pictures of the environment of the accident. Take note of skid marks, icy or wet road conditions, signs, and other damages. Photograph all of these environmental factors and damages as well as the auto damages.
Collect witness information
If someone nearby witnessed the car accident, collect their name and contact information. Their name and phone number could help provide essential information for your case.
Exchange insurance information with the other driver(s)
Collect the other drivers’ names, phone numbers, license plate numbers, and insurance information. Either take a photo of their insurance card or take a paper copy. Write down the make, model, and color of their cars too. Collecting this information can help you, your insurance company, and your attorney following the car accident.
Go see your doctor
Because of the immediate rush of adrenaline, many people feel well in the minutes or hours following a car accident. However, you should still see your doctor. Injuries resulting from car accidents may become symptomatic days, weeks, or months following the wreck. Back pain, whiplash, and other soft tissue injuries should be evaluated by a doctor. If you meet with your provider about potential injuries within the days following an accident, they may also provide information about what symptoms to watch for in the future.
Report the accident to your insurance
After your car accident, your insurance company should be notified. Regardless of the person at-fault, the severity of damages, or many other factors, it is wise to report the accident. Many policies require notification of accidents.
Keep detailed records
As you navigate life after a car accident, take note of everything related to the accident–document conversations with police, attorneys, medical professionals, car mechanics, and so on. At the accident scene, if the other driver admits fault for the wreck, have them write a note and sign it. Write down the names of the officers who are at the scene. Additionally, keep records of medical bills, summaries of care, and any expenses you incur because of the accident.
Talk to a trusted Oklahoma car accident attorney
If another driver was at fault and the accident resulted in significant, life-changing injuries for you, your situation may qualify as a personal injury case. You should call an attorney. Connecting with the Car Accident Help team soon after your accident can help you focus on healing while our team works toward securing the best outcome for you.
Work With The Best Oklahoma Car Accident Attorneys
About 200 car accidents happen in Oklahoma daily. Most accidents do not result in injury, but when they do, our team is here to help. For the past few decades, the Car Accident Help team has worked tirelessly to support, guide, and counsel Oklahomans who have been the victims of personal injury or death due to a car accident. You may be entitled to compensation if you or a loved one is a victim. Contact our team today for a free consultation with an expert Oklahoma car accident attorney.
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