Even for the most careful of drivers, accidents can happen. The steps after the car accident initially occurs are crucial, and can protect the interests of all involved. With the moments after the accident being full of confusion, it is essential to remember these three things that you should do after a car accident.
- Check For Injuries: Immediately after the accident you should check on the well-being of those involved. This includes anyone in your vehicle, anyone in other vehicles involved, and any bystanders who may have also been hurt. Should anyone suffer any injuries, you should immediately call 911 and ensure that those who are hurt receive medical attention. Even if no one suffers any serious injuries, calling the police so you can obtain a report in order to file a claim with your insurance company is a good move.
- Move to Safety and Take Pictures: After ensuring that everyone is safe, the next step you should take is to get everyone to safety. If possible, move the cars off to the side of the road onto the side of the street/shoulder of the highway. This is to preserve the accident for the police to examine, and to clear up any obstruction of the road the accident may have caused. If moving is not possible, protecting the scene of the accident with flairs or traffic cones should be your second choice option. Taking pictures of the accident if there is visible damage is crucial, as well. By taking pictures of the scene, you ensure that the details of the accident cannot be misconstrued should the accident go to court.
- Collect Information: After everyone has been accounted for, you should collect the basic information about the other driver and their insurance company. Collecting this information is essential, as it is necessary in order to file an insurance claim. This information includes the name, address, phone number, and insurance company name/policy number. If there were any witnesses to the accident you should obtain their information as well. Should a police officer respond to the scene of the accident, they will be responsible for collecting this information. However, in the event that they do not, it is your responsibility to ensure that this information is collected and accounted for.
The next step you should take after being in a car accident should be to talk to a St. Louis car accident lawyer. Those involved in the accident may attempt to deny liability, or their insurance agency might attempt to send you a lowball offer. Regardless of what happens, hiring a lawyer to handle your case will make it more likely that you receive the rightful compensation you are entitled to under the law.
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