Steps to Take After a Crash
Car accidents can be terrifying and emotional, leading to an abundance of confusion and panic in the immediate aftermath. When involved in an accident, many people do the right thing and attempt to be helpful or easy to work with, and that’s totally fine, even commendable. However, this often leads to a number of mistakes that could have a negative impact on a car accident case. Want to avoid one of these mistakes and start your claim off on the best foot possible? Here are five steps you should follow after your accident.
1. Make Sure Everyone is Okay
Car accidents can cause serious injuries. If anyone involved has sustained an injury, you should not hesitate to call 911 and get them emergency medical attention immediately. This is the single most important step after a car accident—hesitating or delaying can potentially have permanent consequences or even be fatal in extremely serious cases. Once you are certain everyone is okay and anyone who needs help has been attended to, then you can move on to the next step.
2. Call Emergency Services
The first calls you should make at the scene of an accident are to the police department and a tow truck company. The tow truck driver will work to remove the vehicles involved and get the road moving again as well as clean up any of the debris that might have been left in the road. A police officer will come to the scene and prepare an accident report, which you will absolutely need for your case. When the officer has finished taking their report, be sure you obtain the report number from them. It will take several days before the report is ready, but you and your insurance company will both want a copy of the report once it is finished.
3. Exchange Insurance Information
All parties involved should present their identification and their insurance information to everyone else involved. You are legally obligated to do this. Be sure you copy this information accurately. It’s strongly advised that you take pictures of these documents and make sure you can read the info clearly. You’ll be referring back to it frequently throughout your case. Do not attempt to withhold this information from other drivers, as it could be taken as a sign of fault.
4. Never Apologize
The emotional nature of car accident scenes may prompt you to come out and apologize to the other party out of politeness and to try to ease any potential tension. While it’s a good idea to be cordial, apologizing at the scene of an accident is one of the biggest mistakes you can make in a car accident case. Insurance companies often take apologies as admissions of fault and will attempt to use that to assign liability. In some cases this is easy to refute but in others it’s nearly impossible. Avoid the issue entirely—be polite but don’t apologize, even if you know you’re entirely at fault.
5. Take Lots of Pictures
One of the keys to a successful car accident case is having an abundance of evidence to support your claim. Take pictures of everything at the scene of your accident: the damage to your car, the damage to the other party’s car, any visible injuries you may have sustained (cuts, bruises, etc.), the conditions of the road you are on, and any traffic control devices that may have been involved (stop signs, traffic signals, speed limit signs, etc.) All of these things could wind up being important later in the investigation, and having evidence to support your claims could make the difference between winning your case outright and sharing fault.
You should also not hesitate to make the call to Sanders Law and obtain high-quality legal representation from a Kansas City car accident attorney. We believe justice is more than simply letting our clients have their day in court; we know how important the outcome to your case is, and we fight tirelessly and aggressively to help you pursue it. Our lawyers take a team-based approach to each case, putting the extensive skill and experience of an accomplished law firm on your side.If you have been hurt in a car accident, receive a free consultation today by calling Sanders Law at (816) 844-6938.