Car crashes happen far too often in Utah. Each one leaves a path of pain, confusion, and hardship for victims involved. From the instance in which the accident occurs, victims are often left in pain and wondering what is next. What do they need to do to get help?
Car accidents are sudden, often catching people off guard. People involved in car accidents are often in shock soon after their accidents occur because they do not know what they should do to protect their rights. People involved in car accidents are often unaware of what they shouldn’t do either to prevent them from being taken advantage of.
Attorneys at Siegfried & Jensen understand how important the steps are in the aftermath of an accident and what accident victims need to do. In order to help accident victims to understand better what to do immediately after a car accident, we put together this guide to help victims.
Immediately After The Accident
An Attorney’s Guide For Victims After A Car CrashSo you were driving down the road and suddenly –crash! Someone hit your vehicle. You aren’t sure exactly where they came from, and you may not even know where they hit you at. All you heard was the loud crash, and you felt the vehicle jerk. You may be in shock, but it is imperative for you to begin acting quickly to ensure your legal rights are protected.
Immediately following the car accident, you will want to move your vehicle out of the middle of the road. Check your surroundings before going to the side of the road. You may feel panicked and try to pull over without checking – which could cause another accident to occur. Instead, take a moment to gather your thoughts, look around, and calmly pull over to the side of the road.
Moving your vehicle out of the way will allow you to safely collect the information from the other drivers without blocking traffic and impacting the scene of the accident or evidence.
Collect Important Information From The At-Fault Driver
After a car accident, it is imperative to collect personal and insurance information from the at-fault driver. This information is necessary for you to be able to collect compensation for your injuries and damages. Make sure you get information about the driver and their vehicle. You will want to ask them for their driver’s license and contact information so your insurance company can contact them.
You will also want to make sure the at-fault driver has insurance, and you will want to get that information. You will need the insurance policy number, the name of the insurance company, and contact information for them. You will need to give this information to your insurance company, who will work to determine who is responsible for the accident and ways to collect compensation.
Take Photographs Of The Scene Of The Accident
If you are able to do so, take as many photographs as you can of the scene of the accident. Pictures are often some of the best pieces of evidence you can have simply because they give you a concrete view of the accident in various circumstances surrounding it. Take photographs of the scene of the accident, including any skid marks that are on the ground, any traffic signs or control devices, obstructions in the area, and the overall view of the scene.
After taking photographs of the scene of the accident, take several photographs of the vehicles. You will want to take pictures of both vehicles together then take photographs of each vehicle at the point of impact. In some cases, placement of the damage can demonstrate who was at fault for the accident or how to accident occurred.
Finally, it is crucial to take pictures of any visible injuries you may have sustained in the crash. You may have visible lacerations, bruises, or visibly broken bones. These can help to show that you sustained injuries in the accident.
Contact The Proper Authorities
When the accident is severe, the police, fire, and medical crews will come out to assist you. They may be able to help you move your vehicle if it is unable to be driven and they can help you collect driver and insurance information from the at-fault party. This is a critical step as you will often need a police report to help show who was at fault in order to file your claim.
Speak With Potential Witnesses
As accidents often occur in populated areas where there are other drivers and pedestrians, you may be able to collect statements from these witnesses to help bolster your case. These individuals often provide insight into how the accident occurred, which can help you when pursuing legal action in car accident cases. You will want to make sure to collect any witnesses’ names and contact information in case you need to contact them.
Quite often, insurance companies consider statements provided by witnesses. These witnesses may also be needed when the car accident case goes to trial in order to help confirm your side of the incident.
Get Medical Attention
Finally, it is crucial for you to seek medical attention as soon as possible. Even if you do not feel as if you were injured, you still may have sustained injuries that come with a delayed onset of symptoms. Getting a medical examination will help you detect any injuries that are not visible in order to get the medical attention you need. Medical treatment is beneficial evidence that often helps accident victims prove their claims for injuries and medical expenses related to their accidents.
A Utah Personal Injury Attorney Can Help You
If you are injured in a car accident, by no fault of your own, it is crucial to contact a personal injury attorney as soon as possible. Attorneys at Siegfried & Jensen have over 30-years of experience helping accident victims obtain compensation for injuries and damages resulting from their car accident. Our extensive experience in personal law has enabled us to help over 35,000 accident victims recover more than $850 million in damages. Contact our law firm today at (801) 845-9000 to schedule a free consultation.