Marsalisi Law
what to do after a car accident

Every year, between 20-50 million people are injured or disabled after being involved in a car accident.

Have you or someone you love recently been injured in a car accident?  Do you want to prepare yourself and know what to do in case you’re involved in one in the future?

Either way, this article is for you.  Listed below is everything you ought to do after a car accident occurs.

Stop the Car

You must always stop your car after an accident occurs.  This is the case whether you collided with another driver or a stationary object.  No matter how minor the damage, you still have a legal obligation to stop and check for damage.

Examine Your Injuries

Once you’ve stopped the car, examine your body to see if you have suffered any injuries.  Next, determine whether or not you need medical care.  We recommend that if you feel any symptoms at all, it’s best to get checked out. 

You should also check to see if anyone else involved in the accident needs medical care.

Be sure to take note of how you feel later on, too. Even if you feel fine right now, you might experience delayed injury symptoms once the shock of the crash and the adrenaline has worn off.

Call the Police

Call the police after an accident, no matter how minor you feel it is.  When the police arrive, they will investigate the scene and prepare a driver’s exchange or crash report that will have much of the necessary information required to file an insurance claim.    

If you or anyone else involved in the crash requires medical care, the police can also assist in making sure proper medical personnel arrive at the scene.   

Watch What You Say

Be very cautious when speaking to others involved in the accident.

It’s important never to admit fault or use language that absolves the other person of blame (this includes things like “I’m fine” or “it’s okay”).

Limit your conversation to basic exchanges of information.  Beyond that, try to only talk to the police and any medical professionals who may be on the scene.

Gather Information

While you’re waiting for the police and medical professionals to arrive, you should start to gather information about the accident.  There’s a lot of information needed to file an insurance claim.  Most times, the investigating officer will include all the necessary information in his police report.  Nonetheless, you must ensure the following pieces of information are obtained: 

Information About the Driver

Start by collecting information about the other driver, including their name, address, and phone number. 

Information About Their Insurance Provider

Next, you’ll need information about their insurance provider, including the name of the company and their policy number. Ask to see a copy of their insurance card so you can write this information down or take a picture of it.

If the other driver doesn’t have insurance, take note of this as well.

Information About the Other Car

Take note of the make, model, and year of the other driver’s vehicle. Additionally, write down or take a photo of their license plate number at the scene.

Information About the Scene

You’ll also need to gather some information about the scene where the accident took place.  The more details you have, the better.

Some specific pieces of information you should write down include:

  • The date and time at which the accident took place;
  • The approximate address of the accident;
  • The direction in which you were traveling;
  • The direction in which the other car was traveling;
  • Notes about the driving conditions (weather, visibility, etc.);
  • The name, contact information, and badge of the police officer who comes to the scene;
  • Any witness information.

Take Photos

Get pictures of the scene where the accident occurred, all vehicles involved, any other property that may be damaged, and any visible injuries you’ve suffered. 

Seek Medical Care

It’s essential to seek medical attention right away. The sooner you receive medical care, the sooner you’ll understand the extent of your injuries.  Additionally, the medical records and testimony of your medical providers are the evidence needed to prove the accident caused an injury, what the injury is, and what treatment is required to improve your condition.   

Call Your Insurance Company

Contact your insurance company as soon as you can and let them know what happened. They’ll be able to walk you through the process of filing a claim.

Do not talk to the other driver’s insurance company.  They may try to confuse you on details and provide misinformation regarding your rights as a car accident victim.  Contact a car accident attorney in St. Petersburg instead and let them handle the conversations with the other insurance company.

Hire a Lawyer

Speaking of lawyers, it’s a good idea to hire a personal injury lawyer as soon as possible.  Look for a lawyer who only specializes in helping car accident victims.  Some lawyers handle a variety of different practice areas and say they can handle a car accident.  Remember the saying: “Jack of all trades, master of none.”

Have You Been Injured in a Car Accident?

If you’ve been injured in a car accident, a personal injury lawyer who specializes in car accidents on your side will give you peace of mind and alleviate some of the stress that is typical after an accident.

If you need a personal injury lawyer, contact us at Marsalisi Law today. 

Marsalisi Law is Where Law Gets Personal, talk to Frank at 727-800-5052 right away to schedule a free consultation or get started on your case.