The scene immediately following a car accident can be very confusing and chaotic. It can be difficult to think clearly with your emotions running high. You may not know what to do.
At Hardee, Massey & Blodgett, we hope that you are never have to experience a car accident, but if you do, we hope that these tips will help you be more prepared. The time right after the car accident is important from a medical and legal standpoint. Being prepared and knowing what you need to do will ensure your rights are protected – especially if you were injured due to the negligence of another.
Accidents happen to the most responsible drivers and those accidents can range from minor fender benders to a severe collisions. And every accident deserves the same amount of attention, and the same steps should be followed in every accident. Our tips cannot prevent the accident from happening, but they can help immediately following the accident.
Make Sure You Are Safe.
If possible, put your car in park and turn it off. If the accident is minor, and you can, move off the road or out of traffic to a safe location. Even if the accident is minor, never leave the scene. If someone is injured, you should not move them for any reason other than an emergency.
Call the Police and Report Your Accident.
By doing so you are ensuring the accident gets investigated and documented, as well as first responders will be called out to help.
Get Medical Attention.
If you are unsure, always seek medical care. If you are taken by ambulance to the emergency room, and the emergency room doctor recommends that you follow up with another doctor, you should do so as soon as possible.
Use Your Health Insurance When Receiving Care.
Using your own insurance at the hospital or doctor’s office can prevent medical bills from piling up and it will ensure you get the medical care you need – even if the accident is someone else’s fault.
Report the Accident to Insurance Companies.
You should call your insurance company and report the accident, as well as calling the at-fault driver’s insurance company and report the accident. The at-fault driver’s insurance company should be noted on the Accident Report you are given by the police who responded to the accident. You should be sure to write down the “claim” number given by both insurance company.
DO NOT Speak with An Adjuster.
Once you’ve reported the accident you will get calls from an insurance adjuster. If you are going to contact an attorney, do not provide any information beyond what is necessary to the insurance adjuster. Do not do a recorded interview and do not sign anything before speaking with your attorney.
Document. Document. Document.
Be sure you are keeping track of all the information and documentation you are receiving related to the accident and your damages. Make sure you are taking photos, keeping receipts, and keeping track of all your medical bills and records. Make sure to include time lost from work and any other out-of-pocket expenses that resulted from the accident.
Call an Attorney.
If you or a loved one is injured, you need to speak with an experienced attorney early. An experienced personal injury attorney can likely help you navigate the legal process. We encourage you to contact us for your free consultation with a personal injury attorney in our Greenville, NC office. If you cannot come to us, we can come to you. Contact the attorneys at Hardee, Massey & Blodgett today.