Steps to Take After a Car Accident

Steps to Take After a Car Accident

Being involved in an auto accident can be a traumatic experience, even if no one gets hurt or even suffers substantial property damage. However, you must stay as calm as possible in the aftermath of a traffic collision not just so you can do what is expected of you legally, but also so you can strengthen your chances of recovering financially for your crash-related losses through an insurance claim and, if necessary, a personal injury lawsuit.

Every wreck is unique, just like every person involved in one is, and the exact process you follow to protect your rights and best interests may be slightly different compared to someone else’s. That said, below is a brief overview of basic steps to take after a car accident that apply to virtually everyone in virtually any situation.

Stop at the Scene and Contact the Police

Under Nevada state law, anyone involved in a motor vehicle collision of any kind must move their vehicles out of the flow of traffic if possible and render aid to anyone who needs it. In other words, call the police or emergency medical services if the wreck causes significant property damage or injury. On top of preserving your right to pursue a civil claim later on, doing these things will be essential to avoiding legal trouble in the form of misdemeanor or possibly even felony criminal charges.

Collect Evidence While It Is Available

Another thing required of you by state law after an auto accident is to provide your contact and insurance information to everyone involved. You should also collect the same information from other drivers at the scene. In addition, it can be helpful to get contact information from any eyewitnesses, take photos of the accident scene and any injuries or property damage the crash caused, and speak with police when they arrive about getting a copy of the accident report later on.

Seek Immediate Medical Attention

As soon as possible after leaving the scene of a car crash, the next step you should take is to go to an emergency room or urgent care clinic for a full checkup. Even if you feel completely fine, certain types of injuries only start to show noticeable symptoms after a few hours or days, and by then, it may be too late to avoid serious long-term harm. The documentation produced by a proactive doctor visit will also serve as crucial evidence for insurance claims and personal injury litigation, if applicable.

Report the Wreck to Your Insurance Provider

While the exact deadline may vary across different companies and policies, you should always report any car accident resulting in significant vehicle damage or injury to your insurance provider as soon as possible after it happens. Failing to do this quickly can dramatically increase the chances that your insurance provider will reject your claim outright when you do file one.

Contact Legal Counsel About a Possible Car Accident Claim

Perhaps most importantly, you should speak with a legal professional sooner rather than later in the wake of a serious auto accident. Besides going into further detail about exactly what steps to take after a car accident, our attorneys at Shook & Stone could help you get paid comprehensively for any damages you suffered due to someone else’s negligence. Call our firm today to set up a free consultation with one of our seasoned lawyers and discuss your legal options.