The moments immediately after a collision can be incredibly disorienting. However, the actions you take in the first several minutes after an accident can be crucial. Having a post-accident checklist in mind can help you take the right steps and avoid mistakes.
1. Remain calm. An accident can be overwhelming, but it is important to remain calm in order to make rational judgements in the following moments.
2. Assess any injuries to yourself and to the other people involved. In the case of serious injury, call 911 immediately.
3. Avoid assuming responsibility for the accident, even if you believe you were at fault. There may be additional factors involved that you are unaware of.
4. Call the police, even if the accident is seemingly minor. Having official documentation from law enforcement may be a legal lifesaver later.
5. Call your insurance company and follow their instructions.
6. Take photos of the vehicles involved. Be sure to document the license plates, the damage to each vehicle, and any damage to the surrounding area.
7. Exchange names, insurance information, and phone numbers. Do not provide your home address to anyone except law enforcement.
8. Document everything. Pay attention to and record any injuries or pain that may surface after the accident. Keep copies of the police report and any forms, bills, and receipts related to the accident.
9. Consult a personal injury lawyer. In addition to medical and repair reimbursement, you may be eligible to receive compensation for other damages or related expenses. Smith Injury Law, PA (864-236-5530), offers a free consultation to assess your legal needs.
Disclaimer: Principle office is located at 1210 Laurens Rd, Greenville, SC 29607. No fee unless the case is settled or won, costs may be excluded.