A car accident can be one of the most traumatic experiences of your life. Take it from a car wreck injury attorney in San Antonio: it’s natural to not know what to do next, and it can be difficult to stay calm. That’s why we’ve created the following guide explaining the steps you should take following a car accident.
Call the Police
Immediately after the accident, you should call 911 if you are able. Getting the police involved will help your case for numerous reasons. First, police will ensure that everyone on the scene can receive prompt medical attention. It is not unlikely that someone would be injured: motor-vehicle injury costs in 2020 totaled about $473 billion.
Second, you are required to call the police if someone is injured in an accident or there is serious damage. Calling the police will prevent insurance or opposing counsel from claiming you broke the law. Finally, calling the police will help you document what happened. Police will interview people involved, take notes on the scene, and get pictures of the accident. This information can prove to be crucial later in your case.
Get Contact Information from Witnesses
If you notice witnesses on the scene, see if you can talk to them and ask them for their contact information. Eyewitnesses can strengthen your case because they can validate your claims. For instance, tailgating plays a role in more than 1/3 of all car crashes. If someone caused an accident by driving too close to you, you would benefit from a witness corroborating that fact.
See a Doctor
Next, go to the doctor. In some cases, you may feel immediate pain that warrants medical attention. However, you should still feel a doctor even if you don’t feel any pain. After an accident, your body will have a surge of adrenaline. This high adrenaline level can mask pain and injuries that can appear after. For instance, late whiplash syndrome can appear weeks or months after an accident. Going to a doctor can help identify a problem you may not notice.
In addition, going to the doctor means you’ll now have a medical record of your accident. If you choose to make a personal injury claim later, you’ll need official documentation of your injuries. A document soon after the accident will seem more credible than getting your first examination weeks later.
Contact a Car Wreck Injury Attorney in San Antonio
One of the most helpful actions you can take is to hire a car wreck injury attorney in San Antonio. Attorneys can guide you through your case using their experience and knowledge. If you choose to file a claim, they can get you the best outcome. They’ll know how to negotiate with insurance, prepare the necessary paperwork, and keep you from doing or saying anything that can be used against you.
Report the Accident to Insurance… And Watch What You Say
Make sure to report the accident to your insurance company, as it will likely want to conduct its own investigation. However, use caution in what you say. The people on the other end of the line might seem friendly, but they will have no problem using anything you say against you to avoid paying a high settlement. Their end goal is to get you to accept the lowest payment possible.
If the insurance company calls you, do not pick up. You do not have to speak to them. Let your attorney know that they have contacted you, and direct any further calls from insurance adjusters directly to your attorney.
Stay Away From Social Media
Similarly, anything you post on social media can be used against you, even if a post is seemingly innocent. Do not post anything that discusses your accident.
If you are claiming an injury or damages like pain and suffering, you’ll also want to stay off social media. Say that you are claiming that you suffer from PTSD after your accident. Even an innocent post of you and your friends out at a bar can be used against you to invalidate your claim or assert that you are not being careful with your health.
Do your best to be patient. It takes time for your attorney to gather all the evidence that will make your case bulletproof. Your attorney will conduct interviews, investigate the scene, try to secure witness statements, and obtain police records. The insurance company will conduct its own investigation, which will take time. Try to show yourself compassion as you go through the recovery process. Healing isn’t linear.
You’ve already suffered enough from your accident. You do not have to go through the next steps alone. Contacting a car wreck lawyer can give you peace of mind as you focus on your family and your recovery. Do your best to keep your life private and listen to the advice of your attorney, and you’ll set yourself up for the best outcome.