According to the Colorado Department of Public Safety, between the first of the year and the end of April, there were nearly 1,100 car accidents in which someone was either injured or killed. We all know that car accidents are a common occurrence, but sometimes statistics help us understand just how many people are impacted by crashes every year. They can also help us understand the importance of being prepared should it happen to us.
6 things to do after an accident
Knowing what to do if you are involved in a car accident can help keep you and others safe. It can also help protect your options if you choose to pursue a personal injury claim. If you’re involved in a crash, here are a few things to keep in mind:
1. Stay where you are and call for help. Leaving the scene of a crash can be illegal. After an accident, it’s important to check on others involved to make sure everyone is safe. If someone is injured, call for medical assistance and then call the police.
2. Exchange information with those involved and witnesses. It is important to gather contact and insurance information of those involved in the crash. This includes names, phone numbers license plate and driver’s license numbers, addresses and insurance information. If there were witnesses to the crash, it can be helpful to collect their names and contact information as well. When gathering this information be careful to not apologize for the crash. Apologizing can be considered admitting fault.
3. Seek medical attention. Of course, if you are seriously injured, this should be the first thing you do. However, even if you don’t think you were injured at all, it is good to see a doctor just in case. Sometimes injuries don’t become apparent until days or weeks after an accident.
4. Document the damage. This goes for property damage as well as physical injuries. Take photos of the damage done to your vehicle, and keep detailed records of your doctor’s visits. This can help you build a strong case if you decide to file a personal injury claim.
5. Think twice before accepting an early offer from your insurance company. Insurance companies look out for their own best interests, not yours. Plus, it’s better hold off on accepting a settlement until you know the full extent of the damage – including your injuries. As we said, some injuries show up later on, so it’s best to wait before accepting a settlement.
6. Consider talking to a lawyer. Working with a personal injury attorney ensures you have someone on your side who understands the process of pursuing a claim. It also ensures you have an advocate who will fight for an outcome that is in your best interests.