Vehicular accidents are no joke. Unfortunately, over 35,000 people lost their lives in a car accident in 2015 and the number is not declining.
Knowing how to deal with accidents can save lives, and help in the legal aspect of things as well.
If the accident had anything to do with you or the other vehicle being under the influence of alcohol, remember that the first thing you’ll want to do is consult with a DUI attorney as those cases will quickly become expensive and time-consuming.
Here are the top 5 tips to take note of if you or someone you know is involved in a car accident:
1. File police reports.
In the aftermath of a car accident, it’s vital that you stay on the scene, call the police department, and wait for officers to arrive to take a statement. Attorneys will typically tell you that doing so will ensure that accurate information surrounding the accident is documented as soon as possible to avoid inaccuracies due to false memories.
2. Gather information.
You need to start collecting as much information as possible when at the scene. Be sure to obtain the names and contact numbers of any bystanders, i.e., witnesses, and all those involved in the accident including drivers and passengers. Make a point to obtain insurance information from the negligent party. Your attorney will need this later on as well.
3. Take photographs.
Take as many pictures as possible in the aftermath of the accident. Try to take pictures that really detail the damage of vehicles involved in the collision as well as all surrounding signs with location information. If there are any skid marks, or if there is any property damage or damage to nearby trees, be sure to document it all in photos.
In addition, be sure to take photos of injuries to people involved. Take close up photos of lacerations, bruises, scars, etc. Also, take pictures of anything that can confirm the time of the accident. Then, ensure you have a copy of the photos by uploading them to your computer or a backup disk.
4. Obtain the necessary medical treatment.
Many victims wrongly assume that any pain they feel following a minor accident will fade over time and avoid seeking immediate medical treatment.
This is never a good plan, as any type of pain can be an indicator of a more serious injury. It is not uncommon for people to feel no immediate pain following a collision, only to later find themselves in excruciating agony. Always seek medical treatment ASAP and ensure you document all of the medical treatment received by keeping and making a copy of any and all paperwork provided to you by the doctor/hospital.
5. Keep a detailed journal.
The court hearings following a car accident can often occur several months after the incident, therefore it’s vital that you keep written records of your experiences on the day.
Be sure to make a note of your symptoms each day and include any psychological suffering you experience.
Don’t rely on your memory to be able to recall the events that took place six months prior. Use your journal to record doctor’s appointments, conversions with insurance firms, email exchanges between involved parties, and more. This way, you can review everything with your personal injury attorney.