What Should I Do At The Scene Of A Car Accident?
Approximately 3 million people are injured in car accidents every year in the U.S., and tens of thousands lose their lives. Injured victims may require long-term medical treatment and time away from work, and families who lose loved ones must adjust to life without them.
If you’re involved in an accident, your most important concern should be your health. However, you also need to do certain things at the accident scene that can protect your right to seek compensation for your damages through car accident or wrongful death claims, or a civil lawsuit. The Mike Morse Law Firm explains.
What Should You Do at a Car Accident Scene?
Your actions at an auto accident scene may save lives. They may also substantiate or damage your car accident claim. If it’s safe to do so, try to move your vehicle out of the road so emergency personnel can have room to work when they arrive. Take a few photos before you move it because they will likely be used as evidence in your case.
Assist the Injured
Everyone involved in an auto accident may sustain injuries with varying degrees of seriousness. If your injuries permit, try to help other people. Your quick actions might save someone’s life, and you’ll have crucial information to relay to 911 operators.
Many people may dial 911 to report the same accident, and that’s okay. You need to call them also. Along with telling the operator where your wreck happened, also relay the information you gathered when assisting others injured in your accident.
Dispatchers might only send one ambulance to the scene if they don’t have many details about those who sustained injuries. That’s not enough if there are several people who need urgent medical attention. What you tell dispatchers may save lives.
Law enforcement officers who respond to the scene of your collision will gather information from drivers, passengers, and witnesses. They will also give their opinion about how the crash happened and who was responsible. Your Mike Morse Injury Law attorney will use the police report when building your case.
Take Photos and Record Videos
A car accident scene contains evidence. Vehicle damage, positioning, and skid marks can tell investigators a lot about how your wreck happened. This evidence is a crucial component of your car accident claim. You should also take photos or videos of the following:
- Any roadway obstructions
- Lighting and visibility conditions
- Witness statements
- Your statement
- Any other pertinent details
Inclement weather and other things can shift evidence, making it more difficult for people who come to the scene later to find. Guilty drivers may even try to hide evidence before the police arrive. To avoid a he-said, she-said situation, gather as much evidence as you can as soon as possible.
Seek a Medical Evaluation
Obtaining a medical evaluation right after your accident is crucial for two reasons. The more important reason is your health. Some injuries aren’t immediately apparent, and an examination performed by medical professionals should spot them. If paramedics don’t arrive at your accident site, seek an evaluation from your doctor or go to a nearby emergency room as soon as you leave.
The integrity of your potential personal injury claim rests partly on your medical condition after your collision. Whoever examines you will document your injuries. Without this medical report, you’re opening yourself up to insurance companies denying your claim.
Call a Car Accident Attorney
The aftermath of a car accident involves many essential tasks, but you’ll need to take it easy and recover from your injuries. When you hire Mike Morse Injury Lawyers, we’ll take care of things so you can take care of you.
Report Your Accident to Your Insurance Company
You’ll need to report your accident to your car insurance company immediately, but you need to be careful with what you say. Your auto accident lawyer can help.
What Actions Might Damage Your Case?
As important as it is to understand what you should do at the accident scene, it’s just as vital that you don’t take certain actions.
Don’t Leave the Accident Scene
Laws require drivers involved in automobile accidents to remain at the scene until law enforcement personnel arrive. If you leave, that action implies guilt. You may be charged with a hit-and-run.
Don’t Say You’re Sorry
Although Michigan is a no-fault state for insurance, an investigation will still determine fault. It’s human nature for many people to apologize, but saying that you’re sorry implies that you’re acknowledging some responsibility for causing your collision.
Use Caution When Dealing With Insurance Companies
Even when speaking with your own insurance company representatives, investigators, or claims adjusters, you need to be cautious. Insurance companies whose policyholders are involved in your accident aren’t your friends; they don’t want to pay any more compensation than they must.
When you hire Mike Morse Injury Law, we will speak to these insurance companies for you. We can also review any documents they present for your signature to protect your best interests.
Don’t Post on Social Media
Anything you post on your social media accounts is fair game, and insurance companies may use these posts against you to minimize their payments. It’s best to avoid making any posts until your case is settled.
Can You Handle a Car Accident Claim on Your Own?
No laws require you to hire legal representation to help with your insurance claim following a car accident. However, several factors can complicate these claims, and you may need to file a personal injury or wrongful death case in court. Rather than worrying that you’re missing some vital information, consider hiring a competent attorney.
We handle several necessary tasks that you’d need to do alone, such as:
- Ensure that you have access to medical care
- Assess your case to see if you have a valid claim and how much it’s worth
- Process your insurance and legal paperwork
- Investigate your accident, gather evidence supporting your claim, and ensure that you’re not blamed unfairly
- Skillfully negotiate with insurance companies to obtain a favorable settlement offer
- Litigate your case in court if we believe it’s in your best interests
PIP insurance, commercial vehicle or government agency involvement, and statutes of limitations are just a few of the potential complications you may face. Suppose you don’t have a thorough understanding of applicable laws and the damages you can seek. In that case, you’re likely to obtain much less compensation than you will when a knowledgeable, experienced attorney fights for your rights.
Why Should You Hire Mike Morse Injury Law?
We are Michigan’s largest personal injury law firm. Mike Morse founded the firm in 1995; we’ve served more than 25,000 clients since then, collecting over $1.5 billion for injured accident victims. We focus on car accident cases, and we get results. Our staff is large enough to handle your case successfully, but you’ll receive the personal attention you deserve.
Contact us 24/7 to request your free case evaluation. If you choose to hire Mike Morse Injury Lawyers, you pay nothing unless we win compensation for you. With several offices throughout Michigan, we have a location close to you. Call us at 855-MIKE-WINS or (855) 645-3946, email us, use live chat, or complete our quick contact form.