When you are involved in a car accident, whether it was your fault or not, there are a few steps to take to ensure that everyone is safe and to help prevent any further trouble from arising. If you are fully or partially at fault, some people may try to claim that their injuries are worse than they are; on the other hand, an at-fault party may attempt to hold you accountable instead of owning up to their actions. Either case can lead to a huge legal headache, but it is possible to reduce the likelihood of such scenarios by following a few key steps.
5 Important Steps to Take After an Accident
Make Sure Everyone Is Safe
The first step is to ensure that you and everyone involved in the crash is safe. The initial shock after a motor vehicle collision is likely to feel strange and disorienting, even if you did not suffer any injuries. Thus, make sure to check for any visible injuries and turn on your hazard lights to notify other drivers on the road of your location (this is particularly important for nighttime accidents). If possible, move your vehicle to a safe spot, such as over to the side of the road.
Please note: Should anyone need emergency medical attention, call 911 immediately.
Call the Police
It is a good idea to let the police know that you were involved in a car crash, no matter if no one was visibly injured so that they can file an official accident report on your behalf. Per Utah law, a report must be filed when an accident results in “death, injuries, or total property damage to the apparent extent of $1,500 or more.” While the former two may be easy to determine, the financial damage may be difficult to gauge, so it is best to call the police. Furthermore, if you were injured and want to file a claim, a traffic accident report can serve as verified evidence.
Do Not Admit Fault
Amid the confusion and disorientation after an accident, you might not be entirely sure whether your actions were the root cause. The other party may try to take advantage of your mental state by trying to get you to admit fault; refrain from doing so. If you admit fault, it is unlikely that you will be eligible to file a claim, and the other person may feign injury knowing they will have any easy time of recovering compensation.
Swap Insurance Information
Make sure to swap insurance information with the other party. Take a picture of their insurance card and get their name and phone number. It is also important to document the accident with pictures, as picture evidence can be used in a court of law to show what damage they did to your vehicle or the absence of any damage done to theirs. If witnesses are present, kindly request their names and phone numbers as well.
Visit a Health Care Professional
After all is said and done at the site of the accident, visit a health care professional as soon as possible to make sure that you did not sustain any injuries that could worsen if left untreated. It is more than possible to suffer internal injuries, especially to the brain, that may not be apparent at first.
Consult an Accident Attorney
If an accident caused by another party’s negligence resulted in injury to you, many recommend retaining the help of a professional attorney. Attempting to sort it out with the insurance company on your own is not the wisest idea, as insurance agents are more than likely to adjust your claim and offer you an unfairly low payout. A lawyer can help you maximize your compensation while, at the same time, minimizing the time you spend in conversation with an unempathetic insurance agent.
Pearson Butler houses an acclaimed team of lawyers ready to fight for those wronged by others. If needed, we will even take your case to court. Do not let negligence make a clean getaway after injuring you.
Call Pearson Butler at (800) 265-2314 or fill out an online form to get in touch with us today.