Too frequently car accident lawyers meet with crash victims who are in pain and overwhelmed, and who made costly mistakes in the aftermath of an accident. While nothing can replace the personalized advice of a skilled accident attorney, make sure you follow our simple guide explaining what to do after a car accident.
If you suffered injuries in an accident, speak to an experienced Lafayette car accident lawyer at the Hall-Justice Law Firm today.
1. Contact the Authorities and File an Accident Report
Your first call after a serious car crash should be to 911. Report your accident, detail your needs, and ask for help. This will typically involve:
- Police: law enforcement will investigate your crash, create a report, and might issue a ticket or citation to an at-fault driver
- Fire: if there’s a chemical spill or a risk of fire or explosion, the fire department may come to the crash scene
- Emergency Medical Services: trained medical personnel in an ambulance will assess your injuries and might transport you to a hospital for further care
Do your best to provide accurate information to everyone you speak with, from the 911 operator to the ER doctors.
Accident reports and other early documentation of a crash are vital to your car accident claim. Insurance companies put significant weight on these records. If your story changes over time (without a good reason), or you decide not to file an accident report at the time of the crash, it may damage your credibility and chances of receiving fair compensation for your injuries.
Importantly, if you suspect a driver was driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol, voice your concerns to the police officers at the scene. They will note your concerns and should perform sobriety testing on the driver.
2. Get the Medical Care You Need
If you’re feeling any pain or discomfort after a car accident, you should go to the ER or see your doctor. The earlier you get treatment, the sooner doctors will identify and start treating your injuries. This gives you the best possible chance of a full recovery and of returning to your pre-accident levels of function.
Early medical records are important evidence, just like an accident report. They provide information about your injuries immediately after a crash and can help detail how your condition progressed.
When you speak with a doctor, make sure you give them detailed information about your pain and symptoms. For example, a momentary loss of consciousness or “seeing stars” might be evidence of a traumatic brain injury (TBI) or concussion, although you should be aware that you can have a concussion without those symptoms. Rather than tough it out, it’s best to err on the side of caution.
3. Collect Information From Other Drivers and Witnesses
If possible, get the names, contact information, and insurance information from the other drivers. You should also identify people who might have seen the accident and the events that preceded it. These witnesses might provide powerful evidence in a personal injury lawsuit.
You’ll also need the drivers’ names and insurance information so that you can start the car accident claims process. Because Indiana is a fault-based state, you’ll need to file a liability claim with the negligent driver’s insurance company. You might also have claims with your own insurance company if you carry uninsured/underinsured motorist and other forms of auto insurance.
Finally, if you’re able, take photos of the crash scene and your injuries. Your car accident lawyer and their experts might find these images beneficial during their investigation and the claims process.
4. Talk to a Lafayette Car Accident Lawyer
Indiana car accident claims are complicated. If you suffered serious injuries, it’s almost always in your best interest to speak with an experienced injury lawyer. A car accident lawyer will listen to your story, assess your claims, and help you understand your legal options. And if you decide to work with an attorney, they will oversee your car accident claims, negotiate with the insurance company, and prepare your case for trial (if necessary). Most cases do not actually make it to jury trial but it is important to be able to exercise that right when it is necessary.
Your car accident claim might involve a detailed legal, medical, and vocational analysis. At the Hall-Justice Law Firm, we’ve built a reputation for careful preparation and strong advocacy. We fight for our clients and demand fair compensation for their injuries.
Not Sure What to Do After a Car Accident? Contact Us Today
If you’re unsure what to do after a car accident, contact the legal team at Hall-Justice Law Firm. Our experienced team of Lafayette car accident lawyers want to help. Schedule a no-risk consultation with us today.