I was involved in a car accident, what should I do now?

Being involved in a car wreck can be a traumatic and overwhelming experience, especially if you sustain injuries. Knowing your rights at the beginning of the legal process will go a long way in shaping your case to ensure a fair recovery. Below are four steps to follow that will protect you and your loved ones following a car accident.

1 – Seek medical care. After the crash has occurred, consider the well-being of you and your passengers. Call an ambulance if you or anyone else involved in the crash were injured. Some injuries may not immediately show. However, when they do, it is crucial to seek competent medical care so that a medical professional can fully diagnose you and recommend appropriate treatment.

2 – Call the police. Some of the most important evidence in future legal proceedings will come from responding police officers. The responding officer will prepare a “crash report” that contains important information about what contributed to or caused the crash. Additionally, most responding officers will be wearing a body camera. More often than not, statements recorded on the responding officer’s body camera become some of the most compelling evidence in a case.

3 – Take pictures. Pictures taken at the scene of the crash are great evidence for showing the location of vehicles and the extent of property damage. When possible, take pictures at the crash scene. Not everyone that is involved in a crash will be physically able to take pictures at the scene. If you are physically able to take pictures, then please take them. If you are not physically able to take pictures, then ask a family member to.

4 – Do not give a recorded statement to the insurance company. The insurance company will almost always request that you give a recorded statement. The insurance company will try to pressure you into giving a recorded statement. The reason the insurance company does this is because its attorneys have developed a script of loaded questions that the adjuster will ask you. Rest assured that the insurance company will attempt to use the answers that you give to those loaded questions against you.

5 – Consult an attorney. Whether you think you have a case or not, consulting an injury attorney is the best practice. An attorney can inform you about what your legal rights are and guide you through the legal process so that you can protect your rights from the insurance company. Remember, the insurance company has an attorney. You should too.