7 Things you should do immediately after a Missouri Car accident
Keep in mind, every accident is different. Some steps apply more to certain types of car accidents than others. Think of each step as being prefaced with “as necessary.”
1. Stay calm!
During a car accident, even the most minor ones, your adrenaline shoots up! It is hard to stay focused on getting the proper information from the other driver and assessing the situation. While this is not entirely a bad thing, as you’re often focusing on your and your passengers’ physical well-being, it can present an obstacle if you’re unable to exchange insurance information, call the police, or remain safe at the scene of the accident.
2. Call the police.
If there is significant property damage, bodily injury, or death, this step is absolutely crucial. Unfortunately, without a police report of the accident, the accident can become a he said/she said circumstance. Police officers can mitigate the confusion in these instances. Keep in mind, without a police report, it’s hard for the involved insurance carriers and attorneys to truly understand or prove what actually happened.
3. Treat Your Injuries.
There is one thing I always emphasize over everything else: get better! There is nothing more important than getting the medical treatment you need after an accident, both immediately and in the days and months afterwards.
Immediately following an accident, it is crucial to assess the injuries of all those involved. At times, you may be called upon to help administer first aid or request it yourself. In some circumstances, reacting quickly can be the difference between harm and heartbreak. As necessary, seek medical attention at the scene and proceed to the hospital as needed.
4. Exchange Information.
Don’t expect the other driver to volunteer their insurance information immediately. For a range of reasons, this step can be forgotten or ignored, but it is absolutely crucial. Do your best to gather their name, insurance provider, policy number, car make and model, and license plate number. Use your camera phone to take a picture of the insurance card and license. Be courteous with the other driver, but don’t place blame on either party (e.g. “I’m so sorry I turned too early…”). Immediately following an accident, it is sometimes unclear what actually caused the accident and who was at fault. Don’t assume legal liability.
5. Gather Information.
While it is generally the police officer’s responsibility to gather witness statements, don’t assume they will always do so. When the cirumstance allows, ask witnesses what they saw and request their contact information. This can always help if there is a question of liability.
Photograph everything! Vehicle locations, damages etc.
6. Contact Your Insurance Providers
As soon as you can, report the incident to your auto insurance provider. Do not talk to the other drivers insurance until you have spoken with an attorney.
7. Call a Personal Injury Attorney. Better yet get my FREE book before you talk to an insurance adjuster or sign any forms.
Here’s just a taste of what you’ll discover when you open the pages of this book:
- How to properly handle inquiries from the insurance company… it’s sad, but being a “nice guy” and answering “a few simple questions” can cost you dearly!
- Keys to determining just how much your case is worth – the many different factors that can literally mean thousands, if not tens, even hundreds, of thousands of dollars.
- 8 ways to make sure any lawyer you choose to represent you can make the most effective arguments on your behalf.
- DANGERS of Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest – the key mistakes you do NOT want to make on Social Media immediately after your accident and while your case is being settled.
- What to do if the insurance company offers to pay your medical bills… do NOT just jump at the chance, it could well be a big WARNING sign going off!
- 6 common mistakes you do NOT want to make that could negatively affect your case in a big way.
Many people may be worried that they do not have the money to pay for a personal injury attorney when they were injured but we only handle accident cases on a contingent fee basis. In other words, there is no fee unless we are successful in getting you the compensation that you deserve. If you would like to speak to me or my staff simply call (417) 883-5886 for your free case evaluation today.
Also, if you are wondering if location is an issue, I personally handle injury cases throughout all of Missouri.