It is unnerving when you are in a vehicle accident, and it can seem difficult to get your thoughts in order and to know what to do. This is made even worse if there is a serious injury or if your vehicle is significantly damaged in the crash. Ideally, have a checklist from your insurance company, or from an accident attorney, on hand to make sure you attend to all the different issues you need to consider.
While you may hear radio ads or see television commercials that instruct you to call an accident attorney immediately after a wreck, this is not the thing to do. There are several important steps to take before consulting an attorney, but it should be done as quickly as possible if there are significant damage or injuries.
Get Emergency Medical Attention
Before contacting any accident attorney, you need to check to make sure you, your passengers and others in the accident are not in need of medical help. If they are, or if there is any question that they may be injured, call an ambulance to the scene.
When you call 911, the police will also usually be dispatched, but be sure to notify the dispatcher if there are multiple injuries which may require more than one ambulance to provide transportation. This can save precious minutes.
Contact the Police
If there are no injuries, get out of the road and to a safe location. Never stand in front of or behind the accident on the roadway as there is a risk of being hit by an inattentive driver focusing in on the wreck.
Contact the police and ask to have an officer to the accident. You will have to give location information on your location and the types of injuries sustained.
Get Information from Witnesses and Drivers
Before the police arrive, or after they arrive, get information from the other drivers and any witnesses to the accident. At the very least ask for names, driver’s license numbers and contact information of witnesses, and also get insurance information from the others involved.
If anyone leaves the scene, try to get a license plate number, but don’t put yourself in harm’s way to do so and don’t leave the scene to give chase. In most areas, the officer responding to the accident will provide you with a print out of the accident information as well as his or her name and identification. If this isn’t provided, write it down.
It is very helpful for an accident attorney to have pictures of the accident. Again, do so carefully and not by stepping out into lanes of traffic. Take pictures of the area where the accident occurred, the lighting conditions, the road conditions or anything else of relevance.
Then, once all of this is done, contact your accident attorney. This allows you to have the information your attorney will need to evaluate your case and get started on representing your interests.
If you are in a crash, our experienced accident attorney is here to help. To learn more about the services offered at The Law Offices of Julian Lewis Sanders & Associates, LLC., see us online at www.juliansanderslaw.com. You can also follow them on Twitter.