What you do in the first few moments after a car accident is vital. Unfortunately, these moments are also incredibly emotional, so it can be really hard to fight through the anger, fear, and even pain you’re experiencing to take the right steps. It’s important that you try to do so to avoid critical errors that can make it harder for you to get any money you’re owed later on for your injuries and other losses.
Continue reading for a checklist to help you know what to do after a car accident and find out how a Winston-Salem, North Carolina, car accident lawyer at Lewis & Keller can help you navigate the legal side of things and fight for the compensation you deserve.
Take a Moment and Breathe
The first thing you should do, if you can, is to take a moment and breathe. It’s vital that you remain as calm and cordial as possible during the aftermath of an accident. Getting angry, panicked, or even apologetic can have a negative impact on your claim later on.
Check That Everyone Is Safe
If the cars and people involved can be safely moved out of the road, do so. It’s important to keep everyone as safe as possible and avoid further harm from other vehicles that may be coming toward the accident scene. However, only do this if it’s safe to move. Otherwise, wait for help to arrive.
Get Help From First Responders
You should always call first responders after an accident. When you call 911, the police and paramedics may arrive. Both are good to have on the scene. Everyone involved in the accident should get medical attention, including you. Many injuries don’t present symptoms right away, and being seen by a medical professional can support your claim later on.
You’ll also want to make sure that a police report is filed. This can serve as a helpful piece of evidence when determining your settlement value later on.
Exchange information with the other driver, including your insurance carrier and contact information. If they won’t give this information to you, it may be available on the police report.
Talk to any witnesses of the accident and get their contact information, as well. If they are willing to make statements, their accounts can be useful in the future to support your claim.
It is also important to take pictures of your accident. If you can do so safely, take photos of the vehicles close up, from far away, and from different angles. Photos can serve as valuable evidence to help you and your car accident lawyer when negotiating with the insurance company.
Inform Your Insurance Carrier
Next, make sure to inform your insurance company of the accident. Depending on your policy terms and the facts of your accident, this can be a crucial step in making sure you are covered. When you do report the incident, don’t try to elaborate or tell your side of the story. Just stick to the facts. Be honest, straightforward, and professional.
In the days after a car accident, you may also start to get calls from the other driver’s insurance company. It’s important to remember that you do NOT have to speak with them or sign anything. In fact, it’s in your best interest to direct their calls to an attorney.
Call a Winston-Salem Car Accident Lawyer
Finally, call our Winston-Salem car accident lawyers at Lewis & Keller as soon as possible to review your case. The right attorney can help ensure you’re being treated fairly by the insurance companies and fight for any money you’re owed for your pain and suffering, medical expenses, lost income, and other damages.
After an accident, you need a champion in your corner to make sure your rights are protected. At Lewis & Keller, we’re known for being a champion for every client and we’ll fight our hardest to help you in every way we can.
If you’ve been hurt in a car accident in Winston-Salem, give our law office a call at 877-674-5047 today or fill out our online form for a free, no-obligation case review. Let us be a champion for you!