I’ve just been in a serious accident. What next?

Car accidents are one of the most dangerous, disruptive and potentially traumatizing events a person can experience. The challenges on the other side of a serious accident are substantial. There will be insurance concerns, legal considerations, as well as health and hospital stays to deal with. A good policy is to remember, again and again, how fortunate you are to be here and able to pick up the pieces. And with that said, there are concrete actions you can take to minimize the trouble you’ll face in the wake of a serious car accident. Let’s go over some of those now.

1. Stop, protect the scene, and call the police:

While we all know not to drive away from the scene of an accident, it’s easy to panic and make compromised decisions in the wake of an accident. However, it is of utmost importance that you do not leave the scene. Rather, stop and take a moment to gather yourself, ensure you’re in a safe place, and if you’re able, make sure any traffic heading your way is alerted to the danger ahead – especially if you’re on a windy road with low visibility. And once everyone involved is as safe as possible, call the authorities and wait until they arrive.

2. Make an accurate record:

Tell the officer everything to the best of your recollection. Do not lie or omit information, and if you’re unsure about any aspect of the incident, tell this to the officer. Additionally, make sure that the other party involved in the accident is providing accurate information to the officer.

3. Take pictures:

If you have a camera or a cellphone with a camera, take photos of everything including points of collision on the vehicles, any road obstacles responsible for the accident, or anything else that is relevant to the incident. However, it is very important while doing this that you don’t impede with the investigation.

4. Exchange information:

Usually the police will gather all relevant insurance/registration details, but it’s also valuable information for you to have. Try to gather as many details as possible from the other party involved in the accident so that you can provide them to your own insurance company and keep the process moving as smoothly as possible.

5. Report the accident:

Make sure that you report the incident to your auto insurance company as soon as possible. It is important to utilize any medical payment insurance you may have available.

6. Seek medical attention:

Even if you don’t feel any immediate sense of being injured, it’s very important to seek medical attention after a serious accident. Often, injuries don’t appear right away. And if something does show up later on, it will be harder to prove it was a result of the accident, thereby making insurance companies less willing to provide coverage, depending on the policies involved.

7. Keep a record of the incident:

As you will probably be dealing with the situation for a while, make sure to keep all relevant documents, claim numbers, policy numbers, and other contact information in a single location so you can access it quickly.

8. Protect your rights:

Often, insurance companies want to get statements/evidence from you as soon as possible after an accident and pay you a small some of money to release them from significant liability. Do not sign anything. One of the most important things you can do after an accident is contact an attorney who specializes in car accidents to ensure that your rights are protected.

If you just got in a serious accident and need a Missoula Personal Injury Lawyer, call us at 406-721-6655.

We are standing by.

Contact us today to start a conversation.

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