What you do and don’t do after a car accident can make a big difference in your recovery options and possibly the strength of a future claim. Empower yourself to take the right steps – and avoid some costly mistakes – by keeping the following in mind if you are ever in an auto wreck.
- Evaluate the injuries and get out of harm’s way – Assess the extent of your potential injuries, as the injuries that may have been sustained by your passengers, bystanders and/or other involved motorists. If the wreck occurred in the middle of traffic or the roadway, move to a sidewalk or shoulder while you complete the next steps.
- Report the crash to local police or sheriffs – Call 911 if the wreck is serious, especially if anyone seems to be severely hurt. Call a nonemergency line if the crash is more minor. Skipping this step can make it more difficult to prove liability later (as there will not be a police investigation or report to back up your assertions of fault).
- Wait at the scene and exchange the necessary info – Share your name and contact info, as well as your driving and insurance info with the other involved motorist(s). As you do this, do NOT apologize or admit blame for the crash. Stay at the scene of the accident until authorities arrive and clear you leave.
- Get checked out by emergency responders (and/or other medical professionals) – Shock and adrenaline in the aftermath of a crash can make it difficult for you to perceive just how badly injured you may be. Additionally, some injuries can take time to present themselves (like TBIs, for instance). If you don’t get checked by EMTs at the scene, be sure to see a medical professional as soon as possible after the auto accident. This can be critical to diagnosing and documenting your accident-related injuries.
- Take pictures of the damage and crash scene – Snap as many photos as you can of your vehicle, the other involved vehicles, surrounding features and the crash scene itself. These pictures can be important pieces of evidence for establishing fault.
- Report the crash to your auto insurance provider – Try to make this report within 24 to 72 hours after the accident if you can (any later than that could violate the terms of your auto insurance policy). When reporting the wreck, be sure to just explain the facts you are sure of and to not admit fault for the crash.
- Contact a lawyer – An attorney can examine the evidence associated with your wreck, identify the liable parties and explain what you need to do next to pursue recovery. A lawyer can also represent you moving forward, helping you protect the value of your claim while positioning it for the best outcome possible.
Of course, severe injuries can prevent you from taking any of the above steps after a car crash. In those situations, the best thing you can do is to contact Colorado Springs Car Accident Lawyer Wm Andrew “Drew” Wills II.
Get Answers about Your Recovery Options: Contact a Colorado Springs Car Accident Lawyer at Wills Law, P.C.
Colorado Springs Car Accident Lawyer Drew Wills II is ready to discuss your crash, explain your rights and advise you of your options for financial recovery.
To schedule a free consultation with Drew, call (719) 633-8500 or email the firm.
From offices based in Colorado Springs, Attorney Drew Wills II represents clients throughout El Paso County and Colorado.