As stressful as it may be, the moments immediately following a car accident are absolutely essential. What you do in those moments can affect the quality of your case and determine just how much compensation you can receive to cover the damages you suffered in an accident that wasn't your fault. Take a look at this handy checklist to discover what to do after a car accident, and discover how the experienced and reputable Wilmington car accident lawyers at Speaks Law Firm can help.
#1: Safety First!
The first and most important step is to ensure your own safety. Make sure your own injuries aren't serious before even attempting to move on to anyone else. If you're genuinely worried that you may be seriously injured, make no attempt to move other than calling for help or calling emergency services. If you find that your injuries aren't all that severe, you can begin to check on everyone else involved in the accident starting with your passengers then moving on to other drivers and their passengers. If anyone is in need of medical attention, call an ambulance.
#2: Notify the Authorities
Regardless of whether or not you need an ambulance, you will need to call police. Their job is to document the accident and compile a report detailing the accident, its possible causes, and all the evidence available for them to find. While you are technically allowed to file a police report at a later date, it's always best to have the police on the scene to document it in the direct aftermath. Their report will be much more comprehensive and that can help your case.
#3: Collect Relevant Evidence
After the police have collected their evidence, or even in the time it takes for them to arrive, you can collect some evidence of your own. If the nature of the accident makes it safe to do so, try to take pictures of the accident scene before the vehicles are moved off the road. Be sure to showcase their position, any skid marks, and any damage your vehicle suffered during the incident. You'll also want to question any witnesses and record what they have to say either by hand or with an audio recorder. Just be sure to get their name and contact information as well.
#4: Get Information From the Other Driver
Before you leave the scene, you'll need to get the insurance and contact information of the other driver. This includes their name and number as well as the name and number of their insurance agent. Keep in mind that the simple exchange of information should be the limit to your interaction. Don't apologize for the accident or even discuss fault at all. Anything you say that implicates you will be used against you even if you're genuinely a victim.
#5: Call a Wilmington, North Carolina Car Accident Lawyer
Before you ever speak to an insurance agent, you'll want to talk to an experienced Wilmington car accident lawyer. At Speaks Law Firm, you can count on quality representation with a history of success dating back decades. We’re proud to represent good people through tough times, so contact us today for a free case review!