You never know when you might find yourself on the side of the road with a fresh dent in your car. Unfortunately, about 6 million car accidents occur in the US each year. Chances are, you might find yourself in an auto accident at some point in your life.
It helps to prepare yourself before a crash. In fact, the steps you take immediately after a crash can impact your future.
Here are the seven steps you should follow after a commercial accident. Following these tips will help you cover your bases. You can even gather evidence to fight for the compensation you deserve.
Read on to discover what to do after an auto accident today.
1. Move to a Safe Area Nearby
It’s normal to feel confused or disoriented in the seconds after a crash. Try to take a breath and remain calm. It’s important that you react as soon as possible.
Otherwise, remaining in the middle of oncoming traffic could increase the risk of another crash.
Instead, assess the vehicle. Make sure it’s safe to drive. If the brakes don’t work or fluids are dripping from the car, step away.
The police who arrive at the scene will provide you with further instructions.
If the vehicle is safe to drive, turn on the hazard lights and move it out of the way. Make sure to remain near the crash site. The police might want to know exactly where the commercial accident occurred.
While you wait for the police to arrive, make sure to remain at the scene of the crash. Otherwise, you might get into legal trouble by leaving. You don’t want the police to charge you with a hit-and-run.
Depending on the severity of the other party’s injuries, you could face criminal penalties if you flee the scene.
Instead, call the police right away.
In some states, you’re legally obligated to contact the police after a vehicle accident. Filing an official police report will benefit your legal future, too.
2. Assess Your Injuries
While you wait for the police to arrive, take a moment to assess your injuries.
Immediately after the crash, remain wary about moving too quickly. If you experience any neck or back pain, stay put. Wait for help to arrive.
Moving after you sustained a neck or back injury could lead to paralysis otherwise. If you or anyone else involved in the crash was severely hurt, call for medical attention.
About 4.4 million people are injured severely enough to need medical attention after a crash.
It’s normal for adrenaline to mask the pain you’re in during the initial moments after a crash. In fact, you might not notice the full extent of your pain until days or weeks afterward. With that in mind, it’s important to visit a doctor right away.
Let a medical professional complete a full evaluation. They might send you to a pain specialist or chiropractor, too.
Keep track of your medical expenses, including which doctors you visit. Track the medications you’re on and treatments you receive, too.
Tracking these expenses will ensure you receive the full compensation you’re due. Otherwise, your commercial accident lawyer might struggle to calculate your losses.
3. Avoid Small Talk
As you wait for the police to arrive, try to avoid small talk with the other driver as much as possible.
It’s important that you avoid speaking out of anger. Anything you say could impact the situation in the future. Instead, use the time you spend waiting for the police to gather information.
For example, you’ll need the other driver’s:
- Phone number
- License plate and license number
- Insurance information
It’s important that you avoid apologizing for the auto accident. Sometimes, an apology is seen as an admission of guilt. Instead, avoid small talk.
If anyone asks about your injuries, say only a medical professional can assess your health.
4. File a Police Report
Once the police arrive, give your statement. The police will file an official police report, which will act as evidence for your claim.
As you give your statement, it’s important that you stick to the facts. Avoid embellishing. Don’t make any assumptions about what happened, either.
The police will make a record of any:
- Property damage
Make sure you get the officer’s name and badge number before they leave. Your car accident lawyer will need this information when building your case. They might want to contact the officer later, too.
Ask the officer if you can get a copy of the police report for your records as well.
5. Gather Evidence
While you wait for the police to arrive, make sure to gather evidence.
First, write down your recollection of what happened. Many people forget small details in the days after a commercial vehicle accident. Writing everything down will ensure you don’t forget any important details.
- Direction you were driving in
- Direction the other driver was headed
- Weather and road conditions
- Date, time, and location of the crash
- Make, model, and year of the other vehicle
Take photo and video evidence as well. Your car accident lawyer can use this evidence when building your case.
6. Call Your Employer
Contact your manager or employer while you’re still at the scene of the crash. If you were driving a commercial vehicle, they’ll let you know what steps to follow next.
Otherwise, call your insurance company as soon as possible. Some insurance companies require you to use an app. You can take photos from the crash site before filing a claim.
7. Call an Auto Accident Lawyer
Don’t hesitate to contact an auto accident lawyer after your crash. They can help you fight for the compensation you deserve.
Choose a legal team with years of experience with automobile law. They’ll have a better understanding of the laws that can impact your case.
With their help, you can cover the damages from the crash.
Don’t Crash Your Case: 7 Steps to Follow After an Auto Accident
Knowing what to do after an auto accident can impact your future. After a crash, keep these seven steps in mind. Don’t forget to call for help from a legal team you can trust.
They’ll ensure you receive compensation for the crash.
Eager to discuss your case with an experienced team? We’re here to help.
Contact us today for a free case evaluation.