What to Do if You’re Injured in an Auto Accident
If you are injured in an auto accident, it is important to seek aid and also follow important steps to protect your rights. For example, many people consider whiplash a minor effect of being hit from behind that doesn’t cause permanent damage. The truth is whiplash can cause significant long term damage and a rear-ended accident victim should go to the nearest hospital to get an accurate diagnosis which could include tissue damage or broken bones. Be aware that defects in automobile components or the highway itself can cause accidents. Even if you are in a single vehicle wreck, it is important to realize you may not be at fault.
There are several steps you should take, and some you shouldn’t, read on to learn more.
- Call 911
- Check on all drivers and passengers and provide immediate medical aid if necessary until help arrives.
- Look for witnesses and ask for their information and, if possible, have them stay on site to report what they saw to police.
- Get a full accident report and note the name and badge number of any police officers you speak with at the scene.
- If possible, take pictures or video of the accident scene.
- Preserve any dash or rear-cam video you may have recorded.
- Contact your insurance company to inform them of the accident and relative facts such as injuries and damage and turn-in the initial accident report (FR-10).
- Take pictures of the damage to your vehicle in the immediate aftermath.
- Preserve any potential evidence related to the crash.
- You may not feel immediate pain, especially in a rear-end crash but you should be seen by a physician. If you begin to feel pain, immediately go to the ER for a full post-crash evaluation.
- Be sure to keep track of all medical records and payment receipts.
- Keep track of how any injuries you have sustained have impacted your daily life. (Examples – time missed from work, activities you are unable to participate in, daily struggles with family life and any other negative effects compared to how you were before the crash)
Next Step – Contact an Experienced Auto Accident Attorney
Contact the Stanley Law Firm for a free case evaluation by phone at 843-390-9111 or through our secure online contact form.
What Not to Do
- Do not discuss the accident with anyone other than your attorney or your own insurance company.
- Do not talk to the other party’s insurance company; refer them to your attorney.
- Beware of the quick settlement offer from any insurance company. This can prohibit future claims from being made, especially when medical conditions can sometimes take weeks or months to be resolved or an initially non-diagnosed accident injury starts to flare-up.