Although car accidents occur in the blink of an eye, their consequences often last a lifetime. Between medical bills, time off of work, and other effects of the crash on your life, you’ll likely find yourself wondering where you can turn for short- and long-term help as you put the pieces of your life back together. In this post, we’ll discuss several things that you should and shouldn’t do in the moments, days, and weeks following a car accident.
As you’ll learn in more detail below, contacting an experienced personal injury attorney after being hurt in a crash is one of the best things you can do for yourself. If you’ve been injured in an accident and need to speak to an experienced personal injury attorney in Atlanta, contact Fairell Roy & Associates. We have extensive experience with complex cases and will work tirelessly to help you secure the compensation you need to recover.
Steps to Take After a Car Accident
Move Away From the Accident
Many car accidents cause fires, gas leaks, and present a hazard to oncoming traffic. If possible, move out of your vehicle and get to a safe location away from the accident. If your injuries or the damage to your vehicle prevent you from distancing yourself from the crash, wait for help and do not risk further injuring yourself by attempting to move.
Contact the Police
Always call the police, even if you don’t believe that you’re injured or that damage to your vehicle occurred. The police will document the scene and file a record of the accident. All of the information they document could constitute crucial evidence in your personal injury case.
Document the Scene
In addition to the information collected by the police, you should record as much information about the accident as possible. Take photos of the scene of the accident from multiple angles, document your injuries, and exchange contact information with any witnesses who can corroborate your story.
You’ll also want to get the other driver’s name, phone number, and insurance company. You may provide them with your contact information as well, but you should keep the exchange brief and avoid admitting fault or saying anything about the accident.
Seek Medical Care
Always seek medical care after an accident. Even if you feel completely fine in the moments after the crash, keep in mind that your body is filled with adrenaline that will eventually wear off. Moreover, some injuries can take days, or even weeks, to develop. Visiting a doctor immediately after the accident provides you with peace of mind and an additional record of the accident’s consequences.
File a Claim Through Your Insurer
Call your insurance company as soon as possible to let them know that you were involved in an accident. At this point, you should have most of the information they need to file a claim. They will likely ask for the other driver’s name, number, insurance company, and your police report number.
Just as you kept your exchanges with the other driver brief to protect yourself, you should also avoid saying too much about the accident to your insurer. Your insurance company is supposed to protect you and provide you with support when you need them, but admitting fault or letting them talk you into telling them your side of the story without talking to a personal injury attorney can negatively impact your outcome.
It’s difficult to have too much evidence when it comes to accident claims. We recommend making notes about how the accident has affected your life in order to provide an additional record of the damages you’ve suffered.
You may want to document:
- How the accident has affected your ability to work.
- How your emotional well-being has been affected.
- How your friends and family have been affected.
- Aspects of your lifestyle that have changed since the accident.
- The time and costs associated with seeking and accessing medical care.
- Any other effects the accident has had on your day-to-day life.
Stay Off Social Media
We live in an age in which virtually everything is shared. Meals, political views, small annoyances, and so much more are constantly in our feeds, and you might find yourself tempted to share details about your accident.
As experienced personal injury attorneys, we recommend keeping the details of your accident to yourself. Social media posts can and will be used as evidence against you, and even something as seemingly innocuous as a photo of you smiling while out and about could be used as evidence that your injuries are not as severe as you claim. Moreover, it’s impossible to control what others say and comment, and there have been cases of well-intentioned friends and family members damaging a client’s case with their comments.
Don’t Handle the Claim Yourself
As you can probably see from what we’ve discussed, car accident claims are complex. There are a lot of moving components and it can be difficult to keep track of them all, especially when you’re dealing with your injuries and the numerous other effects of the accident.
Many car accident victims believe that they can handle a personal injury claim on their own, but we highly recommend contacting an experienced personal injury attorney who can help you through the process. At Fairell Roy & Associates, we handle car accidents, truck accidents, slip-and-fall accidents, and many other personal injuries. We’ll walk you through all of these steps as we protect you, your case, and your future.
You can’t change what happened, but you can change what you do moving forward. Contact our office today to schedule a virtual consultation with an Atlanta personal injury attorney who can help you navigate your car accident case.