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Updated by Joel Kofsky on Apr 17, 2019
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Joel Kofsky Joel Kofsky
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Top Steps to Take Following a Car Accident

Car Accidents happen everyday. But knowing what steps to take after one happens might save your life, your career or maybe even financial ruin. Remember insurance companies are there for their own interests and initial settlement offers are a means of getting away without paying what may be due in the long term.

1

Try to Keep Calm

Try to Keep Calm

It might not be the easiest thing to achieve following an accident, you may be injured, you may be in pain or you may simply be angry that your appointment was missed or damage done to your vehicle.

In anger, details can be missed, things can be said and cases can be affected by the interaction of parties in those first few minutes following an accident.

2

Call for medical assistance

Call for medical assistance

Following a car accident where you or other parties may be injured, it is important that medical professional are on scene to document any serious injuries. If it was a minor car accident it is still important that you are seen by medical staff to ensure your health and that no underlying conditions may be present. Back injuries for example may not be apparent until days after a rear end collision.

3

Call the Police

Call the Police

It may not be necessary to involve the police in a simple fender-bender, but in the case of an accident where there may be injured persons, it is imperative to call the police to the accident scene and document it thoroughly as these initial reports will most likely be used to make a claim against the driver who caused the accident.

4

Be Careful what you say

Be Careful what you say

It's all to easy to say something that may or may not be true when the adrenaline is pumping. For example: _"Oh I should have seen you coming", _ is something someone might say inadvertently after being hit by a driver who ran a red light.

This might not be an admission of guilt, but this simple statement which might be recorded by accident responders or overheard bystanders may factor into the compensation of any potential insurance claim once the opposing lawyers twist it to meet their narrative. This is especially true of large public transport companies and large fleets who have highly paid law firms at their beckoned call.

Be polite, be co-operative, but be careful of what you say in the minutes and hours following an accident.

The best thing to do is simply deal with the accident scene itself and leave the blame game to the best car accident lawyer you can find and keep quiet until you can properly collect your thoughts.

5

Document the Entire Scene with Photos and Video

Document the Entire Scene with Photos and Video

Everyone has a cell phone these days with cameras that rival the best compact cameras of a few years ago. If your phone was damaged during the crash or you are impaired ask bystanders and / or law enforcement to do it for you.

Document the entire accident scene, any injuries and do a walk around video to ensure nothing is missed.

If you have a dash cam installed, ensure you remove the memory card and copy the contents for safe keeping.

6

Look for Witnesses

Look for Witnesses

In the moments following a car accident, some people will no-doubt tell you they saw the other party cause the crash. You may feel "fine" at that point and dismiss their remarks without giving it too much thought. But witness statements play a key part in the legal battle that may be ahead and will be used by your car accident attorney to pursue your claim to get the best possible compensation for you.

It is imperative when possible to keep a clear head and try and gather as many statements as possible and the contact details of any witnesses that may help your case.

In some cases they may have been recording video or taking a photo at the time of the accident