Posted by: Kisling, Nestico & Redick, LLC
Car accidents are a common occurrence in the Buckeye State. Each day, innocent people sustain injuries or lose their lives as a result of these crashes. If you’ve ever been in a car accident in Ohio, you know just how overwhelming it can be.
Immediately after the crash, you may be disoriented and unsure of what to do next. That’s why we’ve created this handy list of steps to take after a car accident. By taking these steps, you can protect your health and rights.
If you’ve suffered from an injury or the loss of a loved one due to a car crash that was the result of another party’s negligence, reach out to our highly skilled Ohio car accident lawyers at Kisling, Nestico & Redick. Contact us via our online contact form today.
1. Call the Police
In some cases, the police may arrive at the scene of the crash on their own. Other times, however, they may be unaware of the accident. If you don’t see the police at the scene, it is in your best interest to dial 911 and inform them of what happened.
Once you do, they’ll come to the scene and ask you as well as others involved in the crash some questions. In addition, they’ll file a police report, which will contain vital information regarding the crash such as:
- Date, time, and location of the accident
- Contact information and insurance details of every driver involved
- Contact information of anyone who witnessed the crash
- A description of the injuries any drivers and/or passengers suffered
- An accident narrative that explains what happened from the officer’s point of view
- Pictures of the accident scene, vehicle damage, and injuries
- Tickets that may have been issued to any driver
If you choose to file a car accident claim, a police report can serve as a valuable of evidence that can help prove liability.
2. Seek Medical Attention
Even if you think your injury is minor or you weren’t hurt at all, it’s important to visit the doctor right after the accident. Many injuries don’t show up right away and may take days or even weeks to become apparent. A doctor may be able to discover an injury that you simply cannot detect with your naked eye.
Additionally, they can prescribe a treatment plan so that you can get on the path to recovery as soon as possible. Just like a police report, medical documentation can be used to as evidence and demonstrate the severity of your injuries and their effects on your current and future life.
If you fail to seek medical attention after a crash, the liable party’s insurer may deny your claim and state that the accident did not hurt you because you didn’t go to the doctor immediately after the accident.
3. Write Down What Happened
While the car accident is fresh in your mind, jot down what happened from your point of view. Who do you believe caused the accident? What prompted it? How do you think it could’ve been prevented?
Since you may forget the facts of the accident hours or days later, it’s important to document what happened as soon as you can. By doing so, you don’t have to worry about making inaccurate claims down the road and will have another good piece of evidence to share with a lawyer and insurance company.
4. Photograph the Scene
Use your smartphone or camera to take photographs of the accident scene. Be sure to capture all the vehicles involved, the vehicle damage that occurred, and any injuries you and/or your passengers sustained.
It’s also a good idea to snap photos that show the weather conditions at the time of the crash as well as any road signs or traffic signs that surround the scene. Photographs can also help prove responsibility and be useful should you decide to file a car accident claim.
5. Do Not Admit Fault
After a car accident, you may not be able to think straight and say something like “I’m sorry” or “The crash was definitely my fault.” Unfortunately, saying these things can hurt your case, especially if the accident turns out to be another party’s responsibility.
Rather than admitting fault and apologizing, remain neutral at the scene when speaking to the police officer and other drivers and witnesses. A car accident lawyer can help you determine fault down the road.
6. Collect Contact Information
It is your responsibility to ask the other drivers involved in the accident for their contact information. Find out their names and phone numbers as well as their car insurance companies and policy numbers. If anyone witnessed the accident, it’s a good idea to obtain their name and phone number as well.
7. Avoid Speaking to Insurance Companies
Insurance companies are in business to make money. Therefore, the liable party’s insurer may call you up, ask you if you’re okay, and try to convince you to accept a settlement quickly. Since this settlement will likely be a low-ball offer and not properly compensate you for your medical bills, lost wages, vehicle damage, emotional distress, and other damages, it’s best to speak to a lawyer and avoid accepting the offer.
8. Consult a Car Accident Lawyer
After a car crash, an experienced car accident lawyer is an invaluable resource. You can count on them to perform a thorough investigation of your case and inform you of who is liable. If another party is at fault, a lawyer can determine the value of your case and negotiate with their insurance company on their behalf. With legal representation by your side, you can ensure you receive the fair and full compensation you may be entitled to.
Injured in an Ohio Car Accident? Contact Kisling, Nestico & Redick
If you’ve been hurt in a car crash, it’s important to remain calm and follow the steps listed above. These steps can ensure your rights are protected and reduce the chances of the liable party or their insurer taking advantage of you. Contact an experienced car accident lawyer at our firm today for a free case evaluation. Contact us via our online contact form.