Nobody ever wants to get into a car accident, but understanding the timeline and knowing how to respond when you do get into an accident can certainly benefit you. Here is some information to help you if you have been involved in a car accident.
Immediately following any type of accident is important to take the correct next step. First, you need to check any other passengers in your vehicle, as well as the driver of the other vehicle and their passengers. Next, you must call 911 and tell the dispatcher what you have observed. Does anyone around you need medical assistance? How many injuries are there? Are there any bodies that the dispatcher needs to be aware of?
Next, if you are able to, you must exchange information with the other driver. If the other driver is not conscious, then wait for the ambulance to arrive. But if the other driver is conscious, then you want to exchange information with them such as:
It’s important not to discuss the accident with the other driver. Only stick to discussing the things that you must, such as the information above. Do not start assuming who is to blame or acting as a judge on the side of the road. Everything you say and do can and will be used against you if your case makes it to court.
Before you leave the scene of the accident, it’s important to get a copy of the police report. If you were injured, taken by an ambulance and did not receive a copy of the police report, then you will need to contact your local police department’s record office to get a copy of it. One of the reasons why it’s important to get the police report before leaving is because you do not want the other driver telling the officer anything that goes in the report that you were not aware of.
You cannot seek damages if you did not seek medical attention. But the other reason why you want to seek medical attention is that you may not be aware of any injuries that you have. One notorious example is stomach bleeding, which may not appear for several hours after the accident but is a life-threatening condition. Stomach bleeding can occur from the pressure of the seatbelt against the chest and abdomen during the accident.
But you may also be suffering from other injuries, such as sprains or whiplash. Only a trained and licensed medical professional will be able to diagnose these injuries and treat them.
You may be wondering what to do after you have left the hospital. The next step is to call an attorney because you will receive the bill in the mail for your medical services.
Most personal injury attorneys offer free consultations to potential clients to review their cases. A competent and experienced personal injury attorney, such as the ones that you’ll find at hm-attorneys.com, will be able to review your case and tell you what your next steps are.
Most cases settle within a few weeks, but some can take up to two, three, or even six months. Your attorney will be able to give you a more specific timeline depending on your circumstances.