When you get behind the wheel, you have a responsibility to those around you to exercise reasonable care—the safety and security of others is in your hands. When someone else doesn’t exercise that responsibility, you or others can be hurt in accidents. When you are hurt, you want to make sure you take the right steps to get compensated for your injuries and to help you get well again. Learn what you should do immediately after you’ve been hurt in a car accident, from the important first steps through hiring a car accident attorney.
First Steps When You’re Hurt in a Car Accident
The first thing you should do if you are hurt in a car accident is call for help. Before anything else, your health and wellness, and the health of anyone else in the accident, is paramount. If emergency medical services are needed, get first responders on the scene. A police report can also help to determine the circumstances of the incident and can be very useful to you later.
Document the Scene
If you can, document the scene as much as possible. Talk to any witnesses, get their statements and contact information. Take as many photos of the scene as you can, from as many different angles as possible. The more detailed your documentation is, the better off you’ll be. Make sure that you exchange contact and insurance information with the other driver. While talking to people, make sure that you never apologize for anything that’s happened. This can be construed as an admission of guilt later on!
Call Your Insurance
Make sure that within 24 hours of the accident you call your insurance company to let them know what’s happened. Be straightforward, completely honest and forthright. Don’t try to paint the accident in a favorable light—just keep it factual.
Document Medical Care
Keep detailed records of all of your medical treatment and care. You’ll need these to show the physical costs of your injury when you file a claim for reimbursement.
Don’t Sign Anything!
As you go through the process, it’s likely that a lot of people will come at you offering lowball offers to settle your claim. They’ll shove papers in your face that you don’t understand and ask you to sign away your life. Beware at this point—anything you sign could be very costly down the road.
Talk to an Attorney
Your best friend during this process will be your personal injury attorney. An attorney can stand up in your corner and fight against these lowball tactics. They can take on the burden of battling for your rights so that you can focus on what’s important—getting better again. Any time you’re injured in North Carolina and it’s someone else’s fault, you should seek legal representation. For more information, check out our car accident page, and then contact us to have your case reviewed at no fee and no obligation today!