When you’re involved in a car accident, whether minor or severe, it’s nothing short of terrifying. You feel confused, angry, and you may even be in pain. You know that the incident wasn’t your fault, but it can be hard to determine what you need to do first and next. Taking the right steps in those first few moments can be crucial to getting the compensation you’re surely going to need later on. Look over this checklist of what to do after a car accident, and why a Colorado Springs car accident lawyer can help you get the compensation you deserve.
1. Get Safe and Call First Responders
The first key step to take after an accident is to make sure everyone is okay and get medical attention for all those on-site, including yourself. Even if you don’t feel hurt, many injuries can take days to present, and adrenaline could hide the symptoms. In addition, getting police on-site will allow you to file a police report, which can be important later in helping you keep your story consistent. In addition, get your car off the road if you can, and if you can’t, get yourself and anyone else out of the path of traffic.
2. Exchange Information
Next, exchange information with the other driver. This should include contact information and insurance information. After this, get the contact information of any witnesses that are willing to provide it. Having witnesses that can back up your story may become very important in pursuing your claim later.
It’s important to remember that you should never apologize for anything while on-site, or even after. Apologies of any kind can be used against you later.
3. Document the Accident
Next, document the accident. Take photos of all the damage and of the accident scene in general, from as many angles as you can. The more evidence you can document, the easier it will be to support your case down the line. You can even draw a diagram of the scene and make handwritten notes to supplement the photos (or even in lieu of them, if you don’t have a smartphone).
4. Let Your Insurance Company Know
Even if the other driver was responsible, it’s a good idea to report the accident to your insurance company. Failing to do so could hurt your coverage. When you talk to your insurance company, be very straightforward and don’t editorialize the accident. This isn’t the time to make your case. Stick to the facts. It’s a good idea to have a copy of your police report handy so you can be as accurate as possible.
5. Don’t Sign Anything
When the other insurance company contacts you, don’t sign anything. They may even make an offer right up front and come off as very compassionate. The moment you question them, however, they’ll change. If they get harsh, strongarm, or bully you, refer them to your attorney. Signing anything could mean you sacrifice your rights to compensation.
6. Call a Colorado Springs Car Accident Lawyer
As soon as you can, contact an experienced Colorado Springs car accident lawyer. The right car wreck attorney can defend your rights and make sure that you get compensated for your medical bills, lost wages, lost enjoyment of life, loss of consortium, and pain and suffering. Call us at (719) 520-9909 or fill out our online form for a free consultation today.