Checklist: What To Do After a Car Accident in Austin
When you’re in a car accident that someone else caused, those first few minutes are full of confusion, fear, and anger. You feel betrayed and concerned. You might be injured, in pain, and wondering about how you’re going to pay the medical bills. It can be very easy to become overwhelmed, but you don’t want to make critical mistakes that could affect your legal standing down the road. Keeping your head about you and taking the right steps is essential for seeking maximum compensation when you are injured in an accident caused by someone else. Keep reading to learn what to do after a car accident, as we break down easy steps that will protect your rights, from exchanging information to calling an Austin car accident lawyer, like our attorneys at Lorenz & Lorenz.
1. Call the Police
The first action you should take? Call the police. Even if you think it’s just a fender bender, a police report can help you keep the details of your story straight later. Police reports from the scene of the accident will give the security of having evidence in the chance that you need to seek compensation for injuries or losses.
2. Move off the Road
If it’s possible, get your vehicle off the road to keep things safe for other drivers. If you have reflectors or strobes, it can be a good idea to set them out so that people can see you a good way off. Again, only move your vehicle off the road if it is safe for you and other drivers.
3. Get Medical Attention
Next, make sure that there is medical attention for anyone who needs it. This is another reason to call the police — first responders will help if medical attention is needed. Get looked at by a medical professional even if you don’t currently feel any pain. Injuries from car wrecks can sometimes take days to notice, so it’s important to be able to show that someone looked you over at the scene in the event you need to pursue a lawsuit for injuries.
4. Exchange Information
Exchange information with the other driver. Don’t talk about what happened. Don’t accuse them of bad actions. Never, ever apologize for anything. Even just saying, “I’m sorry,” can come back to haunt you later. Keep it businesslike and just exchange contact and insurance information.
5. Document the Scene
Do what you can to document the accident scene in detail. Take photos from as many angles as you can. Pull out some paper and a pen and take notes on exactly what happened while it’s fresh in your mind. The more detail you can get down, the better off you will be when you need to recall your story later. If there are witnesses, see if you can get their contact information.
6. Call Your Insurance Company
Report the accident to your insurance company right away. Don’t try to spin what happened. Just stick to the facts. Proving that the other person was responsible will come later. For now, you are just informing your insurance company of your accident, which may be required under your policy.
While you do want to report the accident to your insurance company immediately, you should avoid talking to any insurance adjuster from the other parties involved in the accident. If an insurance adjuster calls and asks you to recall what happened, it is in your best interest to refer them to your attorney.
7. Contact an Austin Car Accident Attorney
Finally, call a qualified and experienced Austin auto accident lawyer. An accident lawyer will give you the best shot at seeking maximum compensation for your injuries. When you’re injured in an accident caused by another person’s recklessness, you have rights. It is our job to protect them.
At Lorenz & Lorenz, we treat every client like a member of our own family, and we will fight for you. Get in touch with us today by giving us a call or filling out our online form to receive a free case review. We will get started on your case right away, because we’re on top of it!