There are numerous things car accident victims need to do after a major crash, from the moment of impact on forward until the claim is settled. Adrenaline, injuries, fear, shock, and confusion will be high after a serious accident, and it’s helpful to have a checklist to rely on to help you make sure you’ve covered all your bases.
At the Scene of the Car Accident
Immediately after an accident, try to breathe, stay calm, and perform the following steps if you’re able:
- assess the situation - if seriously injured, don’t move;
- move to a safe location out of traffic if you’re able;
- call 911 - await authorities to arrive;
- help any other wounded victims if practicable, but avoid moving them if injuries are severe;
- obtain medical care - even if you don’t think you’re injuries are extensive, you’ll want to get a medical evaluation;
- provide the necessary information to the police;
- take photos or videos of the scene, the wreckage, and injuries;
- write down the other drivers’ information - name, contact info, drivers’ license number, and insurance information;
- speak to witnesses and write down their contact info; and
- ask the police officer for a copy of the accident report.
During the Aftermath of the Accident
After the critical phase of the accident has passed, there are two important phone calls you’ll need to make:
- Insurance company – Call your insurance company to report the accident. Also call the at-fault driver's insurer. You can provide basic information, but avoid saying anything that places blame on yourself. In fact, if and when an insurance representative asks for a recorded interview with you, it’s perfectly acceptable to reschedule the call until after you’ve spoken with an attorney.
- A local car accident attorney – if your accident was resulted in significant damages or serious injuries, call an accident attorney to review your case. A lawyer will be able to explain your rights and responsibilities, tell you the next steps you need to take, and make sure you don’t make mistakes that could thwart any claims you file.
During the aftermath of your accident, begin an accident file in which you collect all pertinent accident and injury information. This could be handy for financial and legal purposes down the road.
Include things in your accident file such as:
- your medical bills;
- doctors’ notes and prognoses;
- proof of your lost wages;
- any and all receipts that are accident-related; and
- all the info you compiled at the accident scene.
While Awaiting a Resolution to Your Case
After you and your attorney have filed your claim, understand that it may take some time to settle if disputes arise. In the meantime, focus on getting better and avoid any stress that could impede your healing.
If you suffered a major injury, cannot return to work, and are struggling to make ends meeting while awaiting your settlement, you can talk to your attorney about financial options that may be available for personal injury victims. If you’re having trouble dealing with all the emotional repercussions of your accident, don’t hesitate to consult a mental health professional to help you cope.
Consult with a Car Accident Lawyer
If you were involved in an accident and are looking to speak to a lawyer in Bellevue, feel free to contact injury firm Max Meyers Law PLLC. Call 425-399-7000 or 855-502-7960 today for a free legal consultation.