Accidents happen in the blink of an eye and often leave those involved feeling overwhelmed, shocked, and concerned about what they should expect in the aftermath. In order to avoid greater frustrations later on, it is important to keep a clear head and carry out the proper steps immediately after an accident, especially when it comes to filing a claim to recover compensation.
Below, we discuss the most important steps to take following a collision, and we recommend that you contact our Sacramento auto accident lawyer as soon as possible. During a free consultation, we can review the details of your crash and discuss your options for recovering compensation. Give us a call at (916) 471-6098.
Important Steps to Take After an Accident
- It might sound like common sense, but under no circumstances should you ever leave the scene of an accident, even if it was minor and you were not at fault. Leaving the scene is against the law and could land you in significant legal trouble.
- One of the first things you should do is call the police, even if no one appears to be severely injured. Having a police report for your personal injury claim is vital, so never forego this step; doing so could jeopardize your ability to recover compensation.
- Do what you can to preserve the scene of the accident. If it is not possible to safely move your vehicle from the scene, set up some flares or keep your hazard lights on. Protecting the scene of the collision is crucial and will better allow law enforcement officers to document the details of the collision.
- When law enforcement officers arrive at the scene, be as accurate as possible in describing what happened. Understandably, this might be somewhat difficult, especially if you are still in shock, so do the best you can and avoid guessing or speculating. If an officer asks you a question you don’t know the answer to, be honest. Remember, the insurance companies will get a copy of this report, and the last thing you want is for any inaccurate/inconsistent statements to affect your claim.
- Take as many pictures as you can. The pictures you take after an accident will provide the kind of solid evidence that words cannot. Fortunately, most of us have phones equipped with cameras, so this should be relatively easy to do. Take pictures of the damage done to all vehicles involved, any visible injuries, damage to the area where the accident occurred, and the overall scene. Make sure you get pictures from multiple angles and distances. You can always delete the ones you do not need, but you can never go back and take more pictures after the fact.
- Exchange information with everyone else involved in the collision, including insurance information, driver’s licenses, and vehicle license plates. The law enforcement officer who files your police report should collect this information as well, but never assume you can rely on others to obtain the information you need. If there were any witnesses at the scene, collect their contact information as well.
- Even if you feel fine, it is imperative that you seek immediate medical attention as soon as possible. Plenty of injuries do not present symptoms right away, or even within the first few days. Protect your health and your claim by ensuring you get a full medical examination to ensure hidden health concerns are not brewing as a result of the accident. Just because you were not whisked away in an ambulance does not mean you were not injured.
Injured in an Accident? Carichoff Law Group Is Here to Help.
Sustaining injuries in a car accident is a traumatic experience, and dealing with the aftermath can be just as difficult. Do not try to take this on yourself. At Carichoff Law Group, our skilled Sacramento personal injury attorney has been fighting on behalf of injured victims for over 15 years and is ready to do the same for you.
Take the first steps toward obtaining compensation today and reach out to our legal team at (916) 471-6098 to schedule a FREE case evaluation. We can also be reached online by filling out a contact form.