After an accident, the following steps should be taken:
- Remain as calm as possible. Following an accident you will likely be stressed, excited and possibly injured. You may have trouble thinking clearly. Gather yourself and attempt to breathe slowly and deeply before you attempt to get out of your vehicle.
- Think safety first. If the accident was minor and without serious injury, move your vehicle out of oncoming traffic if it presents an immediate hazard of causing an additional accident. Otherwise, leave it where it is until the police arrive. You should remain in your vehicle with your seat belt on until help arrives. Warning flashers should be turned on and warning triangles or flares should be set out.
- Call the police and emergency medical services. Immediately call the police and emergency medical services when necessary.
- If you are injured, tell the emergency services personnel. Do not ignore your body. If you are injured, it is important that you tell the police and emergency service providers.
- Obtain medical evaluation and treatment for any injuries. Do not hesitate to go to the hospital and obtain emergency medical services to appropriately evaluate and treat your injuries. Your health is the most important part of any accident. Injuries involving a whiplash or a concussion may not be evident right away.
- Exchange information. You should exchange name, address, drivers' license and insurance information with the other parties. If a driver's name is different from that shown on the insurance card, you should inquire about the relationship of the parties.
- Do not talk to anyone other than the police and emergency responders. Do not discuss fault or make any statements regarding the facts of the accident to anyone other than the police.
- Obtain witness information. Get the names, addresses and phone numbers of any witnesses to the accident.
Document what happened. Write down a description of how and where the accident occurred. Use your camera to take photos of the vehicles and scene when possible.
Do not give statements to insurance adjusters before obtaining legal advice. After an auto accident, the responsible party's insurance company may contact you. Their job is to handle the property damage and injury claims you have as a result of the collision. Insurance adjusters have received significant training in how to "adjust" property damage and injury claims, including legal and medical training. Their job is to resolve the claim as efficiently as possible on behalf of the insurance company and their insured. They have no obligation to represent your interests. Their interests are clearly contrary to yours. Be sure you understand your legal situation before speaking to an insurance adjuster
Consult with an experienced car accident lawyer. If you have questions or if you believe your claim was unfairly denied, you should contact the experienced car accident lawyers at Kansas City Accident Injury Attorneys, for a FREE consultation with no obligation, to discuss your accident situation
Auto accidents can take a significant toll on all involved. A little advance planning and knowing what to do following an accident can be of great benefit in getting through the process with as little stress and inconvenience as possible.