Having a plan gives you stability when things are tough. Following a car crash, you may need to make snap judgments that will have long-term consequences for your health and legal position. What you do or do not do at the scene of a car accident can make a big difference in the outcome.
At Richmond Vona, our Buffalo car accident attorneys know how shock and panic can impair decision making under pressure. Our mission is to equip you with sound advice gleaned from years of experience.
Here, you’ll find helpful advice for ensuring health, expediting the claims process, and making the most of your legal rights. Before you react, take a few moments to go over the measures that may help mitigate the impact and set you up for the quickest possible resolution.
Steps to Take After a Car Accident
Here are the steps you need to take after an auto accident:
Prioritize Health and Safety
Your well-being and that of others involved should always come first. If there are injuries requiring immediate medical attention, call 911 without delay.
Keep in mind that adrenaline released during a stressful event can mask serious injuries from pain or symptoms initially. Damage may not be obvious until later when the effects of stress hormones subside.
For this reason, it’s critically important to see a doctor within 24 hours even if you feel fine, as a medical evaluation can identify issues needing attention that aren’t yet apparent. Obtaining proper medical documentation shortly after the accident also supports any future injury claims.
Remain Calm and Gather Information
Take some deep breaths to collect yourself before speaking to others. Jot down details like the date, time, weather conditions, road details, and anything unusual about the incident. Exchange insurance and contact information with other drivers.
Do Not Admit Fault
Do not admit fault or sign anything other than necessary medical forms at the scene. Be cooperative, but do not make statements that could compromise your legal position down the line.
Document the Accident Scene
Take notes on vehicle damage, the position of cars, skid marks, or debris. Take photos if possible, but do not linger if it poses a safety issue. Record license plate numbers, descriptions, and statements of witnesses willing to share contact info.
Report the Accident Formally
Contact police if there was a serious injury, impairment is suspected, or one party leaves the scene. A police report establishes an official record. File an accident report with your insurance company as soon as feasible.
Seek Medical Attention Appropriately
Visit the doctor within a day or two to document injuries and begin treatment. Seek follow-ups as advised.
Get a letter from your doctor if you must miss work as the injury heals. This supports lost wage claims later if needed.
Preserve Evidence Thoroughly
Keep copies of all records, bills, and estimates. Photograph injuries as they evolve over coming days and weeks. Retain damaged vehicles or parts until your claim closes, if possible. This evidence can be critical to proving negligence occurred.
Hire Qualified Representation
If the accident was seriously your fault, speak to an experienced personal injury attorney about your rights regarding injury claims. They can review the situation and advise the best path forward.
Do Not Agree to a Recorded Statement or Settlement Without an Attorney
It is typically not to your advantage to discuss settlement directly with the at-fault party or their insurance carrier without experienced legal representation guiding the process.
Insurance companies are well-versed in reasons to deny or low-ball payment amounts if they can negotiate directly with an unrepresented claimant.
An attorney will ensure your rights are protected, all facets of the claim are fully supported, and you receive a settlement reflective of the full compensation permitted under law. Moreover, we understand technicalities that may waive critical protections or future avenues for recovering damages if you say or sign the wrong thing.
For a free legal consultation, call (716) 300-5885
How a Lawyer Can Help
Our lawyers understand the strain that follows an accident. Dealing with insurance companies and medical issues can cause significant emotional distress and financial uncertainty. We offer compassionate guidance on filing and pursuing insurance claims to ensure all damages are reimbursed appropriately.
We are also experienced in meticulously establishing and proving liability so victims are fully compensated. Additionally, we aggressively handle securing lost wages or potential long-term disability settlements when accidents impact one’s ability to work or function normally.
With a commitment to timely, ethical resolution of cases, Richmond Vona aims to relieve much of the stress around navigating complex post-accident logistics and legalities.
Learn More About What to Do After a Car Accident By Contacting Us Today
While collisions occur without warning, being informed allows for a greater presence of mind during an otherwise chaotic time. With the guidance provided here, you can stabilize an unplanned disruption and prevent further harm through prudent action.
At Richmond Vona, our car accident attorneys remain available to answer any other questions that may arise. Should legal assistance be needed down the road, do not hesitate to contact us. We aim not just to represent our clients but to empower them through knowledge and support every step of the way.
Now take a steadying breath and gain comfort knowing help is but a call away whenever you may require further aid navigating the legal challenges ahead. You need not face uncertainty alone.