Everything you do after a car accident can impact the success of a future car accident claim. This may seem like a lot of pressure after a sudden and potentially devastating event. However, many victims don’t realize this until it’s too late. If the accident was serious, you’ll likely be taken to hospital by ambulance. You may not be able to do anything until you regain consciousness or even get discharged from the hospital.
However, if you’re able to move or there are people in your vehicle who are uninjured, there are some things you should do. Your Lakeland car accident lawyer will play a major role in your crash, but they won’t be there to help you immediately. You should help your own case whenever possible. Here are some of the important steps to take.
Get Medical Treatment as Soon as You Can
Many accident victims feel perfectly fine immediately after the crash even though they’ve actually been hurt. There are two reasons for this. Firstly, some injuries simply don’t present symptoms for a few hours or days. Secondly, adrenaline is often running high after a crash and this can mask pain. Still, a successful insurance claim will depend largely on your ability to prove that you were injured in the accident in question.
You, therefore, need to go to the doctor right after the crash. After you return home, you should take note of any symptoms you develop and call or return to the doctor to ensure they’re recorded. Pain, numbness, tingling, dizziness, nausea, and memory loss are all causes for concern. You shouldn’t delay in telling your doctor about them. As your Lakeland car accident lawyer will tell you, you’ll need an accurate medical report to support your claim for compensation.
File a Police Report
If you get involved in a serious accident, emergency medical personnel and police will quickly arrive on the scene. However, if your injuries aren’t severe and the crash doesn’t seem serious, the police may not show up immediately. It’s best to wait for an officer to come and see the scene. However, if you don’t require emergency assistance, you can either go to the police department to file a report or do so online.
Collect Information from the Scene
Be sure to note the time and location of the crash and the road and weather conditions. Try to get the contact details for everyone else involved in the crash along with their license and insurance details. It’s not always possible to gather a lot of information. If you don’t feel well or the scene is a volatile one, you’ll be better off making sure you’re safe. Just try to write down everything that you can remember about the accident. If the other driver appeared to be drunk or they were talking on a cellphone, make a note of it so you can share it with the police and your lawyer.
Talk to Eyewitnesses
You should try to talk to eyewitnesses if you can. However, don’t admit fault or blame the other driver when you talk to people at the scene. Things you say may later be used against you. Simply try to collect names and contact details. Law enforcement officers should speak to the witnesses and include their accounts in their report, but you should still try to talk to them. Keep in mind that eyewitnesses may not always share your recollection of the incident.
Take Photos and Videos at the Scene
Even amateur photos can be helpful in a car accident case. Use your phone to capture as much as you can. Take images of the accident scene, the damage caused, your injuries, and any noticeable hazards. If there’s anything you see that you think may be helpful, you should take a photo or video. You’ll need to move quickly since you’ll lose your opportunity when the scene is cleared.
Keep Records of Your Expenses and Losses
Evidence is key in a car accident claim. Therefore, you should keep all of your medical bills and track the mileage to and from your doctor’s appointments. You should also hang on to any receipts for car repair or towing. If you need to modify your home because of injuries sustained in the accident, you should also store estimates and bills in a safe space.
Contact the Attorneys at Burnetti, P.A. Today
You won’t be able to handle your case alone. As soon as possible after the accident, you need to contact a Lakeland auto accident attorney. At our firm, the first consultation is free. Call us today to get an expert opinion on your case.