After you are involved in a car accident, your heart rate increases, your adrenaline kicks in and it may be difficult to make the right decision on what to do next. If you or a passenger are injured, your next actions could determine whether or not compensation can be awarded for medical costs and pain and suffering.
“In the moments following a car accident, there are a million thoughts rushing through your head,” said Thomas D. Bumgardner, Ballantyne-based auto accident injury lawyer. “It is important to remain cool and obtain detailed documentation of the accident. Having a file of all pertinent information can make or break a case when determining if the other driver was negligent.”
In this week’s blog, we discuss the steps you should take every time you are in an auto accident.
Get Medical Attention for the Injured
This is the most important step. If a victim of the accident is seriously injured, it is crucial that they receive medical treatment as soon as possible. Documentation of the accident can wait until everyone involved is safe.
Call the Police for Every Accident
In order to protect you, the police should be called for every accident. Even the most minor accidents should be reported. When the police arrive they will assess the situation, issue citations if necessary and collect information to create a report on their findings. The police report is a useful tool for reporting the facts and proving negligence.
Sometimes the police officer will discover that the other driver is under the influence. If the driver is impaired, this is an extremely important factor for your case. This would be impossible to prove in the court of law without a police officer’s confirmation.
Exchange Information With the Other Driver
While you are waiting for the police to arrive, use this time to exchange information. It is important that you receive the following things:
- Full name
- Phone number
- License plate number
- Insurance company name
- Insurance policy number
If nearby witnesses to the accident do not wish to wait for the police, get their name and phone number so they can be contacted at a later date.
Take Pictures of the Accident
If possible, take pictures of the scene of the accident with a camera or your phone. Show damaged areas of the vehicle, the positioning of each automobile and any skid-marks that may be present on the road.
Hire an Auto Accident Injury Attorney
If any injuries occur to you or a loved one, it is important to hire a personal injury attorney. Often times, injuries go unnoticed directly following the incident. It may take a few days or a few weeks to experience symptoms of the injury. The statute of limitations for these cases is three years in North Carolina, so it is important to get the process started as quickly as possible.
If the other driver is at fault, their insurance company will usually attempt to settle your claim for less money than you deserve. The best course of action in order to receive fair compensation is to consult with a personal injury attorney to see if you have a case.
Finding the right attorney is important. Ballantyne auto accident injury lawyer, Thomas D. Bumgardner will explore all available options and fight to get you the justice you deserve. To schedule a free consultation, call (704) 870-4779.