By: Allan M. Siegel
Being involved in any type of auto accident can be an overwhelming experience.
From the initial shock to the many headaches ahead, there are a lot of
things to do - and a lot of things that can go wrong. Because the actions
you take following a preventable wreck can make the difference in your
personal injury case, our team at Chaikin, Sherman, Cammarata & Siegel,
P.C. wants to give you the information that can help you better protect
Throughout the years, our award-winning personal injury attorneys have
helped numerous victims of car,
truck, and other traffic accidents across the DC metro area. We have put together
a list of helpful tips to help you immediately after an accident, as well
as during the following days or weeks.
The first 10 minutes after an accident can be the most important to an
eventual claim. Although accidents can be chaotic and frightening, it’s
important to remain calm and to remember these tips immediately following
- Check yourself and passengers for any injuries and call emergency medical
help if needed.
- If you are able to do so safely, move vehicles and people out of traffic
and turn hazard lights on. If possible try to take pictures of the positioning
of the vehicles before you move them. However, only do this if you can
do it safely!
- Remain calm, be polite, and don’t apologize or admit to being at fault.
- Call police. Even if you don’t think the accident is serious, it
is a good idea to have police come fill out an accident report.
- Collect information from any involved drivers and witnesses who may have
seen what happened, including their insurance, license, and contact information.
You can also take pictures or video of the accident scene, property damage,
and any visible injuries.
Following Days & Weeks
The days and weeks following an accident can have an impact on your right
to compensation should you choose to file a claim for damages.
- If you are injured, seek timely medical attention. Seeking a timely medical
evaluation after a crash is critical to your health. Doctors can help
determine the underlying cause of your pain. Not only will seeing a doctor
ensure you receive treatment for any injuries you sustained, it can also
provide medical documentation of your injuries for use in a personal injury
claim. This can help limit an insurance company’s ability to argue
that because your waited to go to the doctor, you were not really hurt
– a common tactic they employ when victims don’t seek timely
- The insurance company will likely begin to contact you in the days following
an accident. Don’t make the mistake of trusting them; insurance
companies are in business to make money. It is best to avoid talking to
insurance companies until you consult with an attorney. However, you should
report your accident to your insurance company as soon as you can.
- Speaking with an experienced accident lawyer is one of the smartest things
you can do after an accident. By discussing your case personally with
an attorney, you can learn more about your legal rights and whether you
are able to file a personal injury claim. Seek legal help as soon as possible
following an auto accident, as there are time limits in place for filing a claim.
Our firm has helped many victims and families after they suffered preventable
harm in all types of
auto accidents, and we’re prepared to put our experience and skill to work for
you. Download our E-Book of the top
10 mistakes to avoid after an accident for more helpful tips, or
contact our legal team today to discuss your case.