First Steps to Take Following an Accident

The immediate aftermath of a serious accident or injury can leave victims shaken and overwhelmed. However, it is important to keep several things in mind after an accident has occurred.

First, the incident should be reported to the police. Never admit fault when talking to police, others involved in the incident or anyone else. Do not speculate about how the incident happened or why, as tempting as that may be. Instead, just state the facts as clearly as you can. The disorienting nature of an accident can lead some victims to assume responsibility, even when it belongs on another’s shoulders.

If possible, take photos of everything related to the incident, such as your damaged car, visible injuries and other damaged property. These photos can be important later in reaching a settlement with insurance companies or in court. In addition, make sure to retain a copy of the police report for your records.

Write everything down. At the scene, obtain the names and contact information of anyone involved in the incident and any witnesses. Record your memories of the incident as soon as possible. Keep notes of all your medical treatments and any conversations you have with investigators, insurance agents and others. Also be sure to record the date and time of each entry.

Even if you think you aren’t hurt, see a doctor, and tell the doctor everything you’re feeling. Don’t downplay your symptoms. Let the doctor know what’s going on so he or she can make a proper determination of your injuries.

Finally, it is important that you speak with an experienced attorney about whether you may be entitled to compensation for your injuries and any property damage. When you meet with the lawyer, bring your photos, notes and the police report. Your lawyer will need this information to properly evaluate your case.