When you’re involved in an accident with another vehicle and it’s not your fault, you feel angry and betrayed, and that’s natural. It’s also a confusing time and it’s hard to know what you should do. You know you deserve compensation and your anger can overcome you. It’s important in those first moments and even days to stay as calm as possible. Learn some important steps to take when you’re in a car accident and how a Columbia car accident lawyer can help you seek the compensation you deserve.
1. Get Off the Road
The first thing to do is get off the road and out of harm’s way. If the car is still operational, drive to the side of the road. If it’s not, leave it where it is and be sure that any people that can be moved are out of the way. Do what you can to alert oncoming vehicles of the danger — if you have road flares, for example, lighting one is a good idea.
2. Call 911
Call first responders. This is important for two reasons. First, you want to be sure that everyone is okay, and the best way to do that is to get everyone seen by medical professionals. People on site (including you) may be hurt and not realize it because of adrenaline after the accident. Some injuries can take days to present.
Second, first responders will usually involve the police. This will enable you to file a police report. While a report isn’t admissible in court, getting a copy of it will allow you to keep your details straight when you have to retell the story several times over the coming days, weeks, and months.
3. Exchange Driver and Witness Info
Next, exchange contact and insurance information with the other driver. After you’ve done this, talk to any witnesses on-site and see if you can get their contact information. The more witnesses you can engage, the better off you might be later on if you need extra help backing up your story when the time comes to pursue compensation.
4. Take Photos of the Scene
Take as many pictures of the accident scene as you can. It should include where the accident took place, any damage to the vehicles, and tire skid marks if any are present. You can also make notes and even draw a diagram of what happened. Document the accident in as much detail as possible to help your car wreck attorney.
5. Contact Your Insurance Company
As soon as you can, contact your insurance company to let them know what happened. Don’t try to spin the story at all. Just stick to the facts. You’re not trying to make a case right now. You’re just protecting your coverage and getting the details on record.
6. Keep Your Medical Bills
Keep detailed accounts of all of your doctor’s visits, treatments, and medical bills. This will also be important in seeking compensation for your injuries later. The more detailed your accounts are, the more help you’ll be to your car wreck lawyer.
7. Contact an Experienced Columbia Car Accident Lawyer
Getting compensation for the medical bills, lost wages, pain and suffering, and any other harm you’ve suffered requires experienced legal help from an experienced car accident attorney. If you’ve been in an accident in Columbia, one of the most important steps to take is to contact our team at Harris & Graves, P.A.. Call us at (803) 799-2911 or fill out our online form for a free case evaluation today!