Immediately after you have made contact with a car, motorcycle, truck, or pedestrian, your brain is probably firing at all cylinders, leaving you feeling anxious, worried, confused, and overwhelmed. While you most likely just want to get out of this situation and back home as quickly as possible, it is important not to rush away from the scene of the accident—especially if the accident was not your fault. By taking the proper steps now, you will have a better chance of receiving the financial compensation that you deserve in the future. After all, once you leave the scene, there is no way to return to those exact conditions and details.
If you have been in a motor vehicle accident of any kind, there is a checklist of things that you need to make sure to do to the best of your ability immediately following your accident.
Step One: Make sure that everyone is okay.
No matter who was at fault for the accident, the first step that should always be taken is to make sure that everyone involved in the accident is healthy and safe. First, start with yourself and the passengers in your own vehicle. Is anyone seriously harmed? If an ambulance needs to be called, this is the time that they should be contacted. After you have made sure that everyone in your vehicle is safe, check to make sure that the other driver, any of that person’s passengers, and any witnesses are safe as well. Again, no matter who is at fault, everyone’s health and safety should come first.
Step Two: Call the police.
Even if you believe that the police do not need to get involved in the accident, it is always a good idea to alert the authorities. No matter how insignificant the accident may seem, it is likely affecting the flow of traffic. By alerting the police, they can put the appropriate safety precautions in place to help ensure that no other accidents will occur as a result of your collision.
Step Three: Gather personal information.
After you have assured that everyone is safe and you have alerted the appropriate authorities, it is time to get personal information from the other driver, any passengers, and any witnesses. If you get nothing else, make sure you get the other driver’s personal information. Make sure that you are providing yours as well. Ask the other driver for his or her driver’s license information, insurance information, car details, and any other personal information that seems relevant or needed. Once you have done this, you can move on to the passenger and the witnesses. This is a very important step in the process as you may need to contact these people in the future—especially if there is a lawsuit. Once a witness leaves the scene, it is very unlikely that you will ever be able to contact him or her again without this information, which may be detrimental to proving fault in court.
Step Four: Take notes of the scene.
While still at the scene of the accident, take thorough notes about anything that you may need to refer to in the future. It is important to not get lazy when taking these notes. Write down everything, even if it does not seem like a big deal. Some important things to note are heaviness of traffic, weather conditions, construction, road conditions, and other types of distractions.
Step Five: Take photos.
Your notes and your word will only go so far. Even if there were witnesses to the accident, pictures can be a very integral detail in the case of a lawsuit. Take enough photos to see every detail from multiple angles. A photo cannot lie, so having pictures of the scene can definitely work in your favor if you were not at fault for the accident. With photos, it is always good to take more than you think that you need. Remember, it is better to have too many than to not have the one that you need.
Step Six: Contact an attorney.
After you have left the scene of the accident, it is time to call an experienced St. Louis, Missouri, motor vehicle accident attorney. If this accident was due to the negligence of another individual, it is important to be financially compensated for your medical bills, time off work, and pain and suffering. Working with an attorney like the ones at Finney Law Office, LLC can set you up well for the future of your case.
For more information regarding motor vehicle accidents, continue to explore this motor vehicle accident guide. If you have any questions or would like to speak with a lawyer directly, do not hesitate to contact Finney Law Office, LLC today.
Motor Vehicle Accident Guide
- Most Common Motor Vehicle Accidents
- How to Ensure Everyone in Your Car Is as Safe As Possible
- Interacting with Semi-Trucks
- Getting Behind the Wheel Again
Read More about Motor Vehicle Accidents