What Steps Should I Take After a Car Accident?

Updated October 31, 2023.

Taking action in the aftermath of a car accident can be difficult, especially when one’s emotions and adrenaline are in high gear. That said, taking steps to properly document the incident and ensure you receive the medical care you need is paramount. Read on and reach out to a dedicated Rochester personal injury lawyer from Lacy Katzen LLP to learn more about the steps you should take after a car accident.

10 Steps to Take After a Car Accident in Rochester

After a car accident, you should take the following steps if you can:

  1. Prioritize Safety First: First and foremost, ensure your safety and that of others involved. If the accident is minor and there are no serious injuries, move the vehicles to the side to avoid obstructing traffic. However, if there are severe injuries or the vehicles cannot be moved, turn on your hazard lights and remain inside until help arrives.
  2. Contact Emergency Services: No matter the magnitude of the accident, always call 911. Even if no one appears to be hurt initially, internal injuries can manifest later. A police report is crucial documentation that can significantly help your case, should you decide to pursue a claim.
  3. Document the Scene: In the digital age we live in, almost everyone has a smartphone. Use yours to take photos of the accident scene, including vehicle damages, license plates, and any visible injuries. If there are witnesses, jot down their contact details; they could be invaluable if your case goes to court.
  4. Exchange Information: Approach the other driver calmly and exchange essential information: names, addresses, driver’s license numbers, insurance details, and license plate numbers. Keep your conversation factual and refrain from admitting fault.
  5. Seek Medical Attention: Even if you feel fine, get a medical evaluation. Adrenaline can mask pain, and some injuries might not be immediately apparent. A medical record following an accident can also serve as important evidence if complications arise later.
  6. Hire a Lawyer: It’s often wise to consult a personal injury lawyer, especially if there are significant damages or if fault is in question. We have seen clients benefit from early legal intervention, ensuring their rights are protected and they get the compensation they deserve.
  7. Notify Your Insurance: Inform your insurance company about the accident. They’ll provide guidance on the next steps, including how to file a claim if necessary.
  8. Maintain Records: Start a file for all documents related to the accident. This includes the police report, medical bills, insurance correspondence, and any other relevant paperwork. Documentation can strengthen your case and ensure you’re prepared for any eventualities.
  9. Avoid Discussing the Accident: Refrain from discussing the accident details on social media or with anyone apart from your attorney, doctor, and insurance company. Anything you say could be used against you if legal action ensues.
  10. Monitor Your Health: In the days and weeks following the accident, be vigilant about your health. If new symptoms arise, seek medical attention immediately.

While we hope you never find yourself in such an unfortunate situation, being prepared can make all the difference. By following the steps outlined above, you can ensure your safety and rights are prioritized. Your well-being, both physically and legally, is paramount.

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