Regardless of your prior experience, getting involved in an accident is a uniquely traumatizing experience that can leave you confused, injured, and uncertain about your future and health. Car crashes are some of the most unfortunate accidents due to the nature of the incident and their potential to cause significant damage to your health and finances.
Even if the accident was not your fault, you might have to bear hundreds of thousands of dollars in financial and non-financial damages, further complicating your recovery. If you or your loved one got injured in a car crash, you can take a few steps to ensure that your legal rights will remain protected in case of any future legal proceedings. Here is a brief overview of what you should do after a car accident.
Stopping at the Incident Site
Stopping at the side of the road away from the incoming traffic is one of the foremost things to do after an accident. Not only does it give you a chance to check yourself and other passengers for injuries and ask for help, but also protects you from any liability, considering that fleeing the site of an accident is a criminal offense.
It’s best to assess the situation as much as you can. Keep track of all the important details that you may need to build your case. Check that no one is in immediate danger before doing anything else and stay at the scene.
Seeking Medical Help
Once you are away from any immediate danger on the road, you should check yourself and any passengers with you for visible signs of injury, like bleeding. It is essential to call 911 to report the accident immediately and ask for emergency medical assistance. You should exit the car and relocate to a safe spot nearby if you feel that your car if you feel that you are in danger.
Once medical personnel and law enforcement arrive, they will investigate the scene. It’s best to stay out of their way but to stay put. They will be asking you loads of questions. These details will be laid out in their reports, which are documents that you will need later on.
Exchanging Contact Information
After ensuring your safety and calling for medical help, you should exchange contact information with the other driver. Important information like names, phone numbers, addresses, and insurance details should be exchanged at this stage. You must keep calm and stay non-confrontational throughout this process, even if the immediate post-accident period might be emotionally charged.
Keeping your distance will benefit you when building your case. Make sure not to say too much that can be used against you. Just ask for essentials and don’t make unnecessary small talk.
Obtaining Physical Evidence
When it is safe, you should try to obtain as much physical evidence from the accident site as possible. This includes a thorough photo and video record of the cars involved in the incident, injuries of everyone involved in the crash, weather conditions, and brief eyewitness statements. Besides taking eyewitness accounts, you should also obtain their contact details so that they might be contacted by your legal team in the future.
These details can be tedious, but they are important to keep track of. Without them, you won’t have a strong enough case to build. Your lawyer needs all the information if you want them to vouch for you in a court of law.
Notifying Your Insurance Provider
It is essential to notify your insurance company of the incident as soon as you can after the crash. Insurance companies usually require complete details of the accident to process all insurance claims. A thorough record of the incident, including physical evidence, might be one of the most helpful things to make the process go over smoothly.
It is important to not agree to anything or sign any documents without having legal representation. Your lawyer will go over everything and make sure you are getting exactly what you deserve. It’s easy for things to fall through the cracks or to be taken advantage of. They will make sure none of that happens.
Hiring a Lawyer
If you want to seek legal action against the negligent driver to obtain compensation for your damages, you should contact a reputable law firm and obtain legal representation. A skilled car accident lawyer in New Jersey can help you obtain fair compensation for your injuries and get your case the justice it deserves. They will do everything in their power to fight for you and bring your case to court. As much as it is a lot of work, a competent legal team will help you during this process.