19 Oct What to do After an Accident
What Happens After an Auto Accident?
Accidents can be incredibly stressful. Injuries, totaled vehicles, angry drivers, police asking questions, and several other factors can make anyone lose their cool. These factors can lead people to attempt to leave the scene of an accident after it happens! By taking the following steps, however, it’s very easy to take the sting out of an already painful situation.
Loud noises, disorientation, and pain. These are the first things we experience in an automotive accident. Having a plan in place isn’t just being paranoid; it’s smart preparation. Despite everything we could have done to prevent the accident, it has happened. What comes next?
What you should never do is leave the scene of an accident. Of course you have a duty to protect yourself at all times; but as long as there is no chance of additional problems being caused, the vehicles should stay put and so should you.
If there are injuries or any question of fault, the vehicle should remain still while you and your passengers get to the sidewalk or shoulder. In the case of a minor or very straightforward accident, it is acceptable to move to the shoulder. No matter what you decide to do with the vehicle, make sure to turn on your emergency lights or place reflective cones around the accident to help prevent others from occurring. Protect yourself.
Injuries and Liability
Get anyone with minor injuries out of the vehicle and to safety. In the case of serious injury or a passenger/driver not responding, call 911 immediately. The sooner emergency services can arrive the better. If you are able to, now is a great time to photograph the accident site, the vehicles, and any injuries.
It’s a great idea to make sure that something other than a smartphone is available for pictures. Keep a disposable camera with your first aid kit. your phone can be damaged in the wreck, and it’s important not only for your car accident attorney, but also for the police and insurance to have as much information as possible. It’s also a great idea to photograph the other driver as well when getting their information.
Have the following available for when the police arrive:
- Proof of ownership
- Updated address if yours does not match the license
Remember to remain as calm as possible. You may want to yell at the other driver, and they may want to yell at you…DON’T!! Remember, now that the insurance companies are in play, this is now a business transaction. By keeping a cool head, you can remember to collect the following from the other driver:
- Name, address, and number
- Make and model of their vehicle
- License plate number
- Insurance provider and policy number
Get their email address and the name of the vehicle owner if it isn’t them if you can. Do not admit or assign fault. Leave this to the police and insurance adjustors. If you have a pen and paper in the vehicle (and you absolutely should), take notes of as much of what has happened as possible for the initial accident report and police questioning. Once the report is done, remember to get the report number, officer’s name and badge number, and a contact number. Make sure to request a copy of this report as well.
By staying calm and compiling as much information as you can, you are well-prepared to speak to a doctor as well as an attorney. No matter how severe the accident, speak to a doctor. If an issue pops up later without having seen a doctor, it can be very hard to prove and even harder to get your medical expenses covered. After a doctor has checked for and confirmed any injuries, speak to your lawyer. Your Louisiana car accident lawyer knows what steps to take to get you the compensation you deserve.
Call the Law Offices of L. Clayton Burgess today to schedule a free consultation with our accident specialists. We are a no win/no fee law firm, if we do not collect on your behalf, you do not owe us a thing. Don’t Delay, Call Clay!!