When you’re in a car accident, you don’t have a lot of time to react. You may not remember what to do as easily as you think you will in advance. In the panic, you might even forget to gather important information.
As a Memphis car accident lawyer, I’ve seen a lot of people come in after a car accident who forgot what to do in the moment. They moved their car out of the way, and then their minds became fuzzy.
It can make a huge difference in your car accident case to get the right information on the spot, assuming you’re able based on your physical condition.
Here are 5 things you should do after a car accident that can help greatly down the road:
Contact the police.
A lot of people don’t realize they need to do this even when the accident doesn’t feel like a big deal. The police keep an official record of what happened. It helps everyone know who is responsible and how to cover the costs.
Get the other driver’s information.
You always want to get contact information and insurance info from the other driver. You should give them yours as well. And don’t forget you also want the info for any eyewitnesses who might help bolster your case if it comes to that in the future.
It can make a huge difference to the outcome of your case if you have photographic evidence of what happened. The police should also take photos of the scene, but they don’t always consider it important for smaller accidents. And taking them yourself provides backup in case the other photos don’t show everything.
Be careful with your words.
After an accident, it can be very tempting to say you’re sorry. But in most cases, you don’t know yet exactly what happened or who’s at fault. You may not realize the other driver was texting or had been drinking. Apologies can come up again when the insurance companies decide who was responsible, so it helps to avoid saying you’re sorry in the moment.
In addition, you might also want to talk with the other driver’s insurance company to set the record straight. But they hire teams of attorneys, and you can very quickly become prey to their tactics without realizing it. You should always let your attorney do the talking for you.
Hire an experienced car accident lawyer.
Your lawyer will help you navigate the process and get the compensation you need and deserve. And a good car accident lawyer doesn’t get paid anything unless you do. It’s well worth the time to make sure you get everything you need to recover.
Thanks to our friends and contributors from Darrell Castle & Associates, PLLC for their insight into car accident cases.