What Should I Do Immediately After An Accident
When you’re involved in a car accident, your initial reaction may be panic. In fact, many people respond to a car wreck – in the first moments following it – with tears, shock, and a feeling of numbness and immobility. While knowing what to do after a car wreck can be challenging, especially if you are experiencing any of the effects listed above, staying calm and taking action is important. Here are some things that you should do immediately after an accident in Alabama.
Take a Few Deep Breaths, Stay Calm, and Move Your Vehicle
The first thing that you should do is to calm yourself down – a car accident can lead to a racing heart, shakiness, and an overall feeling of stress and panic. Take a few deep breaths, and make sure that you are OK.
If your car accident occurred in a place that is heavily trafficked, you should move your vehicle to the side of the road (if doing so is possible) and turn on your emergency flashers. If you need to get out of the vehicle, make sure you do so when it’s safe, and check for oncoming vehicles first.
Check for Injuries
You should check for any injuries that may have been sustained during the crash. If you are injury-free, ask everyone in the vehicle about whether or not they are injured. If you are able, you should also approach the other vehicle involved in the crash to check for injuries. If anyone is seriously injured, you should call 911 immediately.
Report Your Accident
If anyone is injured or there is any property damage, you should call the police to report the accident immediately. Give the operator information about whether or not anyone is injured (if someone is injured, the operator should walk you through what to do), and the precise location of your accident. You are legally obligated to report your accident if it results in $500 or more in property damage or anyone suffers injury or death.
Gather Information and Take Pictures as You Wait
As you wait for the police to arrive, you should collect any important information that you will need during the claims process. This includes:
• The name and contact information of the other driver involved, as well as any of the other driver’s passengers;
• The make, model, and license plate number of the other car involved;
• The other driver’s drivers’ license number, registration number, and insurance information; and
• The names and contact information of any witnesses to the crash.
You should also record important details, such as the weather, date, and time of the crash. Make a note of damage to the vehicles, the vehicles’ positions, and any other relevant factors, like the presence of skid marks on the road. If you have a smartphone or camera, take pictures of the accident scene, including the exterior and interior of each car, any injuries, and the surrounding area.
Seek Medical Care
If you have sustained any injuries, including seemingly minor soft tissues injuries such as whiplash, you should seek medical care. Don’t wait too long to seek care, as a delay in care may lead an insurance adjuster to devalue your claim. Make sure you keep a thorough record of all care received, as well as notes about the extent of your injury and how you’re recovering.
Report the Accident to Your Insurance Company
It is important that you report your car accident to your insurance company in a timely manner, as a delay could result in a denial of your claim. Never admit fault or exaggerate your losses when speaking with an insurance adjuster, and don’t agree to give a recorded statement or sign anything before talking to a lawyer.
Call an Experienced Alabama Car Accident Attorney
When you’re injured in a car wreck and want to maximize your settlement amount, you need to work with an experienced Alabama auto accident attorney who can competently guide you through the claims. At the Law Office of J. Allan Brown, L.L.C., we are passionate about helping our clients, and our experienced in car accident law. Call us today at (251) 473-6691 for your free consultation.