Austin Personal Injury Blog

5 Do's & Don'ts After a Car Accident

Posted By The Stewart Law Firm, PLLC || 13-Feb-2018

If you’ve just been in a car accident, not panicking is easier said than done. It is natural to feel shaken, disoriented, angry, stressed, and emotionally overwhelmed after a collision. However, there are certain things that you should do—and shouldn’t do—immediately after an accident that could have a dramatic impact on the outcome of your car accident claim.

Things to Do

The following are five things that you should do after a car accident:

  • Seek medical attention – Whether you suffered a serious injury or a minor one, it is important to receive immediate medical attention. Additionally, there are certain types of injuries that may not result in immediate symptoms, such as whiplash or internal injuries. Not only does visiting a doctor help you determine the full extent of your injuries and the proper treatment for recovery, obtaining your medical records can be beneficial to your car accident claim or personal injury lawsuit.
  • Contact law enforcement – A police officer can help document the accident, reporting about the details of the accident and obtaining information from all parties involved. If you don’t call the police, it could end up being your word against the other driver’s—and you could end up footing the bill for the entire accident yourself.
  • Obtain information from the other driver and witnesses – Exchange information with everyone who’s at the scene, such as the other party and witnesses. Talk to the other driver involved and get the following information: name, address, and phone number, make and model of the vehicle, his or her insurance information, car registration, and his or her driver’s license number. Also talk to witnesses, including any passengers and any spectators, and document their names, addresses, and phone numbers.
  • Take photographs of the accident scene – If able, you should take pictures at the scene of the accident. Photograph the damage of each vehicle (both exterior and interior), the injuries suffered by anybody involved, the skid marks, the road conditions, the street signs, and the overall scene of the accident. Do not be afraid to use up all of your storage on your phone or camera. Photographic evidence can help you obtain a favorable outcome in your case.
  • Report the accident to your insurance company – You’re required to notify your own insurance company of an accident promptly. However, ensure that you only provide the basic facts only. The more information you provide, the more opportunity you give the insurance adjuster to twist the truth and deny or reduce your claim.

Things You Don’t Do

The following are five things you should NOT do after a car accident:

  • Don’t say sorry – It is natural for human beings to apologize to after causing an inconvenience to someone, whether it is minor or major. However, it is important to avoid saying sorry after an accident because it can be misconstrued as an admission of fault. Additionally, do not admit that you “feel okay” after an accident, since not all injury symptoms appear right after a crash.
  • Don’t allow the other vehicle to drive off – Not everyone is honest, especially when it can get them in legal trouble. Even if the other motorist gives you his or her contact and insurance information, ask them to wait until police arrive. Furthermore, do not move a vehicle after an accident since it is important for police to be able to see the actual point of impact to document this information.
  • Don’t place yourself in danger – Do not stay in a vehicle that is burning or in a vehicle that is likely to get struck again if you can avoid it. To avoid further injury, remove yourself from the dangerous area.
  • Don’t agree to a recorded statement – It is wise to contact a personal injury attorney prior to agreeing to make a recorded statement to your insurance provider. A lawyer can help review your insurance policy before you make a recorded statement to help protect your best interests.
  • Don’t agree to the initial settlement – If you accept a quick settlement now, you can’t just ask for more money later. It doesn’t matter if you incur additional medical costs, lost wages, or pain and suffering. You cannot reopen your case once you accept the settlement.

For more information, contact our Austin personal injury attorney at The Stewart Law Firm, PPLC today.

Categories: Car Accidents
Blog Home