What Should I Do After a Car Accident?
A motor vehicle accident can be a physically and emotionally traumatic experience. Unfortunately, it is one that many of us have gone through or will go through in our lifetimes. In the US alone, there are approximately 6 Million police-reported motor vehicle crashes per year, and over 35,000 fatalities due to motor vehicle crashes in 2016.
Regardless of whether or not you believe you have suffered an injury following any kind of motor vehicle accident, this page will discuss a few important things to keep in mind in order to protect your health moving forward, as well as your ability to potentially recover compensation for any injuries you may have suffered.
That being said, if you have been injured in any kind of motor vehicle accident, call our office today to discuss your unique needs and concerns when it comes to recovering compensation for your injuries and resulting damages in a free and confidential consultation.
Car Accident Injury Attorneys Discuss “Safety After an Accident”
Immediately following any kind of car accident, motorcycle accident, truck accident, or pedestrian accident, the safety of you, your passengers, and any other involved parties should be your first priority.
As with any emergency, it is best practice to call 911 following any kind of motor vehicle accident, as there is no way of knowing whether or not the police and emergency responders are already aware of your situation.
Next, check to see if anyone is severely injured. If there are any severe injuries that may affect an individual’s head, neck, or central nervous system, it is best practice to keep them stationary. Exceptions may be if there is an immediate danger involved in staying in or near the vehicle such as a fire or the car being in a precarious position.
It is also important to remember that standing in close proximity to an accident can be dangerous, especially on heavily trafficked roads or highways such as Route 80 or I-287. It is usually recommended to either stay in the vehicle with seatbelts fastened, or stand well clear of the scene. If possible, warn other cars by using hazard lights, brightly colored cones, and/or flares.
Exchanging and Recording Information after a Motor Vehicle Accident
After you and your loved ones immediate safety has been addressed, it is best practice to exchange information with the other driver or drivers. It is important that you try and get all of the following pieces of information from the other driver(s) as well as any potential witnesses to the accident:
- Full name of driver and any witnesses
- License plate number
- Driver’s license number
- Home address
- Phone number of driver and any witnesses
- Insurance provider
- Insurance policy number
If the insurance or registration for the car is under a different name than the driver, mark down the relationship between the two parties.
At this point it is also a good idea to document as many details as possible about the accident. Write down the make, model, color, year, and any additional descriptors for the cars involved. Use a camera or cell phone to take as many detailed pictures as possible. Try to get all relevant perspectives to show the positioning of the cars as well as detailed images of damage where applicable.
Seeking Medical Attention and Contacting an Attorney
It is always recommended to seek medical attention as quickly as possible after any type of accident, even if you don’t seem to have sustained any obvious injuries. This is especially important for two reasons:
First, many conditions which may arise after an accident, especially a car accident or any kind of motor vehicle accident, are not immediately apparent, and may develop over time. However, by seeking swift medical attention, you can quickly identify and treat injuries such as brain injuries and spinal cord injuries.
The second reason we recommended that you seek immediate medical attention following any kind of accident is that the sooner you diagnose any injuries you may have sustained, the stronger any potential injury claim you have have will be. The longer you wait to diagnose an injury, the weaker the connection between that injury and your accident becomes, thereby weakening a potential injury claim.
Beyond seeking medical attention, if it is the case that you have been injured, it is highly recommended that you speak with an experienced injury attorney before signing any documents presented to you by the insurance company, and ideally before speaking with them at all.
Insurance companies often attempt to settle injury claims quickly and cheaply, rather than having to pay the full amount to which the injured party may need or be entitled to. They may even try to get you to sign paperwork that will deny some of your legal rights.
By speaking with our our Passaic County injury attorneys before signing anything, agreeing to any settlement offers, or saying things to the insurance company which may come to hurt you down the line, we can review your unique case, and work directly with the insurance companies as your legal representative. We can help you to ensure that you and your loved ones receive the compensation you need and deserve for any injuries you have sustained as a result of a motor vehicle accident.
Contact Our Accident and Injury Attorneys Today
At The Law Office of Fredson Statmore Bitterman, our attorneys have extensive experience helping clients across Little Falls, Paterson, Wayne, Clifton, West Milford, and the greater Passaic County area to recover full and fair compensation in personal injury claims resulting from a car accident, truck accident, motorcycle accident, bus or train accident, or any other type of motor vehicle accident.
With many multi-million dollar verdicts and settlements already won for our clients, our track record of success and effective service speaks for itself.
To speak with our firm today in a free and confidential consultation regarding your car accident, your options for recovering compensation, or your options for retaining our services, please contact us online or call today.