Steps to Take After a Car Accident
A car accident can be a very traumatic event, whether you are seriously injured or it is a minor fender bender. Emotions tend to run high, particularly when there are injuries, and in all the chaos, sometimes it is not clear what to do. To avoid making a bad situation worse, consider the following tips the next time you are in a car accident.
- Remain at the scene: Never abandon the scene of an accident, particularly if someone has been injured or there are fatalities, or you could face criminal charges for being a hit-and-run driver.
- Check for injuries: If you have been hurt, call 911 if you are able to do so, or ask someone else to call. If your injuries are serious, do not try to move until help arrives. If you are not seriously injured, check on the other passengers involved. Do not move any passengers who are unconscious or who appear to have a head or neck injury, unless not moving them puts them in more danger.
- Move to a safe place: If you can move and your car is drivable, move it to the side of the road. If you cannot move the car, leave it where it is and get yourself to a safe location.
- Call the police: Regardless of the seriousness of the accident, call the police. Request that a police report be filed and ask for the name and badge number of the responding officers.
- Exchange information: Obtain the names, phone number, addresses, drivers’ license numbers, license plate number, and insurance information from everyone involved in the accident. Try to be friendly without apologizing for anything, as it can be considered an admission of guilt. This can impact the amount of money an insurer will pay.
- Witness testimonials: If there were any witnesses at the scene, ask what they saw and obtain their names and contact information.
- Take pictures: If you are able to move freely, take pictures of the scene, including pictures of your vehicle and the other vehicles involved. This will help your insurance company determine a fair compensation amount.
- Notify your insurance company: Inform your insurance company about the accident as soon as possible. Be truthful about every detail, including property damage and any injuries you may have sustained. Provide them with a copy of the police report so that they have documentation about who was at fault. Do not be tempted to lie as you can face legal trouble as well as having your coverage denied.
- Keep organized records of medical treatment: Keep copies of all treatment you received for your injury, including doctors, physical therapists, chiropractors, and any other medical professional who treated you. Include copies of medications you were prescribed. It is best to keep a record of how the injuries have impacted your life, including missed work, activities you can no longer do, and other quality of life issues, which will be considered when trying to seek compensation for pain and suffering.
- Obtain property damage valuation. If your insurance company offers a valuation that you feel is too low, let the adjuster know you are not satisfied. If you cannot agree on a value, a personal injury lawyer can help.
New Jersey Car Accident Lawyers at Williams Cedar Seek Maximum Compensation for Car Accident Victims
If you or a loved one has been seriously injured in a car accident, do not hesitate to contact the experienced New Jersey car accident lawyers at Williams Cedar. Our dedicated team will walk you through every step of the claims process and ensure that you receive the maximum financial compensation you deserve. Protecting your legal rights is our top priority. To set up a free, confidential consultation, call us today at 856-874-7500 or 215-557-0099, or contact us online.
Our offices are located in Philadelphia and Haddonfield, New Jersey, allowing us to represent injured clients in Pennsylvania, South Jersey, and nationwide.