After a traffic accident, the steps you take are very important for reducing injuries and protecting your right to recover compensation for your injuries. However, being involved in a traffic accident can be very upsetting. It is easy to forget the steps you need to take after a traffic accident, especially if you have never been involved in a crash. Having a post-accident checklist in your vehicle can be very helpful, especially for young or teen drivers who may not have as much experience on the road.
Below is a simple checklist that can help you be prepared in the event of a traffic-related accident.
Being prepared is one of the best things you can do to protect yourself after a car accident. You need to keep your insurance information and important contact information in your glove box along with a pen, paper, and disposable camera. Your cell phone may be damaged in the collision, so you need to have this information and these items as a backup. Also, carry an emergency medical kit in your vehicle for minor injuries.
Protect Yourself and Others
Immediate after an accident, call 911 to report the crash and request emergency medical services. Check yourself, your passengers, and others for any signs of injury. Be very careful if you exit your vehicle. Approaching traffic can be very dangerous; however, you should not remain in a vehicle that is not safe. It is important to access the dangers and risks so you can take immediate steps to reduce the risk of further injury. For teen drivers, it is very helpful to review several accident scenarios and provide instruction on how to handle each situation.
Create a Checklist
Immediately after an accident, you may forget some of the steps you should take. Creating a written checklist and keeping that checklist in your glove box to use after an accident can be very helpful. Your checklist should include:
- Call 911 immediately!
- Do not admit fault! Saying you are sorry can be interpreted as admitting fault.
- Record the names, contact information, and insurance information for each driver
- Note the make, model, and year of the other vehicles
- Take photographs of the other vehicles, your vehicle, and the accident scene, if it is safe for you to do so
- Record names and contact information for eyewitnesses
- Record as many details as possible about the events immediately before, during, and after the collision
- Note the name, badge number, and office of the investigating officer
Your Next Steps
In the days after the accident, you need to take steps to protect yourself and your right to file a claim. If you did not go to the emergency room from the accident scene, you need to be checked by a physician. It is important to your health and your accident claim that you seek medical attention as soon as possible after any accident, regardless of whether you believe you are seriously injured or not.
You need to report that accident to your insurance company. Keep detailed records and notes for all appointments/conversations with medical providers and insurance adjusters. You need to keep copies of all receipts, invoices, and bills related to the accident.
Dealing with an accident claim can be overwhelming. Allowing our team of legal professionals to handle your claim can give you the time you need to heal from your injuries without the frustration of dealing with insurance adjusters.
Call a NoLA Car Accident Attorney for Help
For a free legal consultation, call Attorney Fred Olinde of The Olinde Firm. Contact our office at (504) 587-1440 or 1-800-587-1889 to request your free consultation with a New Orleans accident attorney.