What to do After a Car Wreck
Nothing ruins your day (or month, or year) quite like a car wreck. As unfortunate as they are, there are things you can do to protect yourself if you are injured in a car wreck.
- Stop and stay as calm as possible
- Do not drive away from the scene of a wreck, even if you think the accident is minor. Emotions can run high after a wreck; avoid discussions about fault and responsibility with the other driver. Your safety is your Number 1 priority.
- Make sure you are in a safe location
- Survey the scene to ensure you are not at risk of having another vehicle strike the crash site. Turn on your hazard lights, set flares, etc. Determine whether it would be safer to wait for the police in the car or in another location.
- Check yourself and your passengers for injuries
- With all the emotions and adrenaline surging after a wreck, sometimes you may not immediately feel an injury. Do not say things like “I’m fine” and “I’m okay” unless and until you or a medical professional makes sure you are fine.
- Call 911
- I have had clients tell me, “Well the other driver called 911 but they never came.” Call 911 yourself to ensure help is on the way.
- Take photos & videos of the scene
- Get pictures of all damage to your vehicle as well as damage to their vehicle. If there were any witnesses, ask them will they let you record their account of what happened. Have them state their name, phone number, and what they saw. Memories fade fast and that may be the difference in having your car accident claim approved or denied.
- Don’t Make Deals
- The at fault driver may offer to pay you $x instead of filing an insurance claim. It’s never smart to do that and it can expose you to major expenses down the road.
- Seek medical attention
- Even if you think you feel okay, injuries caused by car wrecks are not always readily apparent. You should always get checked out, even in a “minor” wreck. If you are in pain, or feel weird, go to the emergency room.
- File a claim with your insurance company
- Filing a claim nowadays can be as simple as going online and filling out a form. You do not however have to deal with a difficult insurance adjuster. If they are giving you a hard time, let them know they can speak with your lawyer.
- Protect yourself by calling a lawyer
- Insurance companies often do everything they can to pay the least amount of money possible. They can and will record everything you say and use it against you if they can. Always speak with an attorney before providing any recorded statement to the insurance company. Insurance companies may also offer you money up front to entice you to settle your claim before you have an opportunity to discuss with a lawyer how much your case is worth. Don’t do it. You are leaving money on the table. The lawyers at Chhabra & Gibbs, P.A. offer free consultations and if they determine you do in fact need a lawyer, we work on a contingency fee; meaning you will never pay us any money unless we secure a settlement for you.
- Start a file
- Keep track of all records relating to the wreck, including the accident report, notes you took, repair estimates, medical records, and bills. If your doctor takes you off work, be sure to get copies of all off work slips and/or work restrictions. Keep track of all correspondence from the insurance companies, your doctor, and your lawyer.
Every case is unique but following these steps could strengthen your claim for compensation. The experienced trial lawyers at Chhabra and Gibbs, will make sure you receive the maximum value for your case. If you or a loved one was injured in a wreck, contact us 601-948-8005 for a Free consultation.