There is nothing that can prepare you for a collision or crash. Most people who experienced car accidents agree it is a shocking event and it is important to obtain the services of a St. Louis car accident lawyer. Most people become upset, scared or angry after a car accident. One has to try and stay calm. Determine if you or your passengers sustained any injuries and if necessary, contact emergency medical personnel. Ensure it is safe before you step out of the vehicle.
As a St. Louis auto accident lawyer, I created a helpful list of what to do and what not to do immediately after a car accident.
WHAT TO DO IMMEDIATELY AFTER A CAR ACCIDENT
- Call 911 if any people involved in the car accident are injured.
- If possible, take your mobile phone and take pictures of the accident. This is important evidence and can help you determine the extent of the damages done to your vehicle. If you cannot take pictures, write down the details of damages done to your vehicle. It is also a good idea to take pictures of car damages suffered by the other party.
- It is important to remain at the accident scene, if you are not injured, until the police arrive. You can only leave the scene of an accident if the police indicated they will not come.
- Get the names, addresses, phone numbers of the driver involved and witnesses of the accident, as well as the license plate number and a description of the vehicle involved in the accident.
- Write down the name, agent and phone and address of the other party’s insurance company. Make sure to write down their policy number.
- Write down the time of day, weather conditions and the road condition at the time of the accident.
- The police will file a full report. Limit your discussion of the accident and let the police know you will speak to them after you calmed down and received medical attention. Get the number of the police report, if one is issued, and later obtain a copy of the official police report. This report contains details, such as the police officer’s opinion of who was at fault.
- Notify your insurance company of the accident and let them know that you will contact them later on with all the details.
- It is important to document all accident-related expenses.
- Seek the help of a St. Louis auto accident attorney immediately. An accident can become complicated. You need to protect your rights and a personal injury attorney will guide you. The assistance of an attorney increases your chances of receiving a fair settlement from an insurance company.
WHAT NOT TO DO IMMEDIATELY AFTER A CAR ACCIDENT
- The moments after a car accident are usually very emotional. Do not behave aggressively, lose your temper or use bad language.
- Do not admit fault.
- Do not move injured people.
- Do not delay seeking medical attention, even if you are not severely injured.
- Do not give statements to your insurance company or to the other party’s insurance representatives. Insurance companies will attempt to obtain a statement from you. You are in a state of shock, confused or you suffer injuries and are in no condition to make a statement regarding everything that happened during the accident.
- Do not delay contacting your lawyer to allow someone to begin the investigation on your behalf. The expertise of a St. Louis MO accident lawyer will prevent you from stepping into legal pitfalls.
- Do not sign any documents, statements or forms from an insurance company without legal advice.
It is hard to stay focused after you experienced an accident. It is, however, important to protect your rights. In almost every car accident there are legal issues to address. Legal matters can range from dealing with the police officer to insurance companies and lawsuits involving the other party or driver. It remains important to urgently seek the help of an attorney.