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The Steps to Take If You Have Been in a Car Accident

Auto accident involving two cars on a city street

Being in a car accident, no matter how minor, is enough to frazzle anyone. When frazzled, it’s all too easy to forget key steps, and to lose out on insurance, or even put yourself at risk in the process. 

Do You Require Medical Attention? 

If you need medical attention, then it is imperative that you call emergency services, if you can. Don’t just rely on how you feel in the moment, either. Visually check yourself over for injuries as well, as shock can make it difficult to understand where, and how badly you are injured right away. 

If you aren’t injured, or injured too badly, the next step is to then check on any other passengers in the car. If everyone is okay to move, then it is important to get to safety. If your car is in good enough condition to move, and is a hazard where it is currently located, then move it to the side of the road or otherwise out of the way of oncoming traffic. If it isn’t in good condition, leave your vehicle and find a safe location to wait for emergency services. 

Tip: Always get checked out by a doctor following an accident, even if you don’t seem injured. You may have whiplash, and having medical evidence can help your insurance case. 

Get in Touch with the Police 

If you have to call for emergency services, then the police will already be on their way. If not, then call directly to have a police officer dispatched. This is because in many places, it is a legal requirement to have a police officer document the scene and fill out an incident report. If you plan on going through your insurance, this is often the best way to get the evidence and official documentation underway. 

Exchange Information 

You will need to exchange this information: 

  • Full contact details 
  • Insurance company and policy number
  • Driver’s license and license plate number 
  • Identifying information about the vehicle
  • Location of the accident 

You will also want to document the accident as much as possible. From getting the name and badge number of all responding officers, to getting a copy of the accident report, to taking photos and even getting witness accounts of the accident. All of this will become useful in the process of understanding who was at fault, which is often a key question for insurance companies. 

When to Hire a Personal Injury Lawyer 

If you believe you were not at fault, were too injured to safely collect information, or believe that negligence was involved in the accident, then it is very important that you hire a personal injury lawyer like Horst Shewmaker Attorneys. Personal injury lawyers work to get you the full settlement that works to cover not just the damages, but also your medical bills (including rehabilitation costs) and of course pain and suffering. 

Personal injury lawyers can take over the entire process for you, so a good rule of thumb is to always call if you were personally injured in the car accident. Having lawyers on your side, especially those that only take their fee out from your settlement, meaning you don’t need to pay upfront, levels the playing field. It’s great to help when you are injured, may be partially at fault, and a whole host of other scenarios where your situation would improve with legal representation by your side.


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