So You've Been in an Accident. What's Next?

The moments immediately following an auto accident are probably the most stressful moments in a person's life. Crashing into another vehicle is frightening no matter who is involved and how low the impact is. The only thing a person can do is try to stay calm and follow a several-point strategy that can bring him or her through the ordeal as safely and as sanely as possible. The following are five tips for what one should do directly following an auto accident:

Conduct a Wellness Check

The first thing to do immediately following an accident is to ensure that everyone involved is alive and has no serious injuries. The wellness check should start with the driver and continue until every person in the vehicle has a confirmed well status. Someone should call the ambulance if anyone appears to need immediate medical attention. All victims should visit the hospital or doctor at some point following in the accident, and such should occur within 24 hours of the accident.

Gather Evidence

The next step that an accident victim should take is gathering the evidence. Evidence is spoken, written or visual proof of the events that occurred in the accident. The victim can do this by speaking to other victims and asking them to give their witnesses and testimonies. The victim can also take pictures and videos of the damages that happened to the vehicle and the people who were involved in the accident. The victim will need this information for the next step of the process.

Call Police

The next step in the process is calling the police. The police will come out and ask a series of questions so that they can make a report or a complaint. They will ask what led to the incident and how it occurred. They will ask if anyone is hurt, and they will notate the information in the report. They will also issue tickets to anyone who has violated the traffic laws and had any parts in causing the accident. The police report is important because the insurance company may ask for it. Other parties such as the victim's employer or the attorney may request a copy of the police report, as well.

Call the Insurance Company

The victim should contact the insurance company as quickly as possible. He or she should have the policy numbers of all drivers who are involved and all the details of the accident. The insurance company will ask questions and begin their investigation. They may ask the victim to fax the police report and additional information such as pictures of the damage. Eventually, the victim will have to send repair estimates and such things so that the insurance company will know what it has to pay out for the benefits. In some instances, the insurance company chooses not to pay the claim. The victim can then consult with a personal injury attorney.

Call a Personal Injury Attorney

Finally, the victim should call a personal injury attorney and discuss the incident. The personal injury attorney is a special attorney who tends to people who have been harmed in auto accidents and other accidents. The personal injury attorney spots neglect and then requests that a judge order the neglectful person to pay for the damages that the victim has to repair. Personal injury attorneys often offer free consultations and contingency representation. Contingency representation allows the victim to relax while the case proceeds. The attorney does not ask for payment until the case is over and the settlement is in.

Victims should follow these tips immediately following an accident. It provides non-stressful recovery.

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T.J. Smith, Attorney at Law
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Louisville, KY 40202

Phone: 502-792-7937
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