No one plans on being involved in a car accident. However, understanding these seven steps could protect your legal rights if you are involved in a St. Louis auto accident.
When you are in a car accident, it is easy to become shaken and to lose your power of reason. While a car accident is very stressful, there are some things you need to do to make sure you are safe and are fully compensated for damages and injuries after the accident. If you want to be sure that you take the right steps both before and after you are in a car accident, keep this handy, seven-step checklist in your glove compartment.
1. Don’t Get out of Your Car
If you are in a car accident, especially if your car is still on the road, it is important to breathe deeply and stay put. If you get out of your car, you run the risk of getting hit by oncoming traffic. If you are the slightest bit off balance or not thinking rationally, don’t get out of the car. Wait for medical professionals to arrive and ensure your safety.
2. Call to Report the Accident
The first step to take after a car accident is to pick up the phone and report the accident. You will want to have a police report filed before you leave the scene of a car accident. Even in a minor fender bender, not reporting the accident should not be considered an option.
3. Exchange Information With the Other Driver
You will want to exchange information with the other driver (or drivers) after the report has been filed. Make sure that you get all the information necessary including:
- Telephone number
- Driver’s license identification
- License plate
- Insurance carrier
- Insurance carrier contact information
4. Talk to Anyone Who Saw the Accident
If there is a question about the events leading up to an accident, an eyewitness account can be an excellent tool to lend credibility to your testimony should your claim be questioned by an insurance company or even be taken to court. If you see anyone who witnessed the accident, make sure to get their information so they can be contacted if needed.
5. Keep Quiet
It is important that you keep quiet and not admit fault after an accident. Saying things like “I’m sorry,” or admitting that you made a mistake can come back to bite you. When questioned about the accident, stick to the facts only, and don’t provide any opinion or admit guilt.
6. Don’t Talk About Any Potential Injuries
Even if you think you are injured, it is important not to talk about your injuries or what hurts unless it is to a medical professional on the scene. If you say something inadvertently, or mistakenly, about the extent of your injuries or what hurts, it can cause a lot of problems down the road.
7. Call a St. Louis Car Accident Lawyer
Once you have addressed your injuries and sought the proper medical care, you will want to hire a St. Louis car accident attorney to make sure that you aren’t left vulnerable and to get the compensation that you are entitled to.
If you are in a car accident, make sure you are safe first and then seek medical attention. Lastly, make sure to hire a professional to protect you and plead your case.