After you have been involved in an automobile accident, you may be confused, stunned and unsure of what to do next. If you are in severe pain or have injuries such as broken bones or heavy bleeding, contact 911 and go to the hospital immediately. If you have minor injuries or are unsure whether you have injuries, here are a few of the things you will want to do in the minutes and days immediately following the car accident.
Obtain Witness Information
If you are able, one of the first things that you should do is obtain witness contact information. Following a car accident, those who have witnessed the accident often stop to make sure everyone is alright and see if anyone needs any help. Ask the people who stopped if they personally witnessed the accident, and if they did, grab their full name, address and phone number. In many cases, it can be hard to prove who was at fault for an auto accident or why an accident occurred. Having witnesses can be invaluable in proving fault.
Take Photographs of the Accident Scene
Another thing you should do, if you are able to, immediately after an accident is to take photographs of the accident scene. This includes:
- Damage done to both vehicles
- The surrounding area, including stop lights and signs
- The lighting in the area
- What weather may have been like
A video can also be helpful in showing current road conditions, lighting and weather when the accident occurred. If you are unable to take photos of the accident scene due to your injuries, the police will make note of this in their report.
Get Treatment From a Medical Professional
After a car accident, take the time to seek treatment from a medical professional. In many cases, those who are injured in a car accident do not realize right away that they have injuries. They may not feel anything right away due to the adrenaline, or they may simply feel a little stiff or sore and think it will go away in a few days if they rest or take it easy.
Unfortunately, putting off treatment can negatively affect your personal injury case and may cause your injuries to worsen. Even if you do not think you are injured, seek treatment from a medical professional just to get checked out and evaluated.
Not All Injuries Show Up Right Away
It’s important to see your doctor (as mentioned above) right away. Soft tissue injuries, like whiplash, can take days or even weeks to show up. You may think you’re fine in the moment, and begin to hurt and take a turn for the worst later. Because you’ve already seen a doctor after the accident, this gives you a chance to follow up. It also helps your doctor make a better diagnosis because they know about the accident.
Concussions are another common injury from an auto accident that may not show up right away. If you have a headache or remember striking your head, allow EMTs to help you at the scene. They may recommend getting checked out even if you don’t think you hit your head. Follow up with your doctor after the accident and if symptoms manifest. You’ll get the care you need and be able to show that your injuries stem from the auto accident.
Notify Your Auto Insurance Company
It is important to notify your auto insurance company of the accident within a day or two of the accident occurring. When you call your insurance company, be sure to have your policy number handy, as well as information on the other driver, including their name, driver’s license number and auto insurance policy information. If you have sustained injuries in the accident, be sure to let your insurance company know, and that you are seeking treatment for those injuries.
Seek Out the Help Of a Personal Injury Attorney
Lastly, if you have been injured in an auto accident, be sure to seek out the guidance and assistance of a personal injury attorney in Las Vegas. They can help to determine if you have a compensable case, file papers to preserve your right to seek compensation from the involved parties, and help you obtain the medical treatment you need. They can also work to ensure you receive a fair settlement or take your case to trial if the insurance company is not willing to settle for a fair and reasonable amount.
If you have been injured in an auto accident, you want a Las Vegas personal injury attorney who can help you with every aspect of your personal injury case. Here at Edward Bernstein & Associates we can help you from the very beginning of the claim until the end, ensuring you get the help and money you are entitled to. Contact us today to schedule a free consultation.