Imagine driving through Rolla on Friday afternoon. You finished work early and you have a few extra hours of free time to spend however you see fit. Unfortunately, your plan for the rest of the day completely evaporated when another driver ran a red light and plowed into the side of your car. Now, you have to deal with a whole mess of problems.
The first few moments after a car accident can make a huge difference in your personal injury claim. The following post-car accident steps can help you protect your car accident claim.
Self-check for injuries
Once things come to a stop, assess your condition for serious injuries. While some injuries might be immediately obvious, such as cuts, abrasions or broken bones, other injuries, like brain trauma, may take several days to manifest. This means that even if you do not think you need medical attention right away, you still need to see your doctor within a day or two of the crash to check for internal injuries. Once you have checked yourself for injuries, check your passengers to get an idea of the seriousness of their injuries.
Move off the road
As soon as you are able, you should try to move off the road or out of the way of traffic. Other people could easily become involved in the aftermath of the accident and cause more damage to your car or person.
Call for help
Even if the accident seems minor, you should call the police to report the accident. Many insurance companies require a police report in order to process a claim, so it is always a good idea to report a wreck.
While you wait for help to arrive, take the time to exchange information with the other driver. Be sure to get his or her phone number, full name and insurance information. In addition, make a note of the other vehicle's color, make, model, year and license plate number. Also, talk to anyone who witnessed the accident and obtain each person's contact information.
Take pictures of the accident scene and the surrounding area. Document the damage on both vehicles and make notes about what happened from your perspective. Also, get the name and badge number of the police officer who will file the report.
If you are ever the victim of a negligent driver and suffer an injury because of a car wreck, the above tips are important to know. Also, keep in mind that you might be able to take legal action if the other driver's insurance company is attempting to deny your claim.