The decisions you make right after a car crash occurs will affect your rights. People often make big mistakes, like apologizing to the other driver even though they weren’t the ones at fault.
The way that you behave right after a collision will have a direct impact on how the police and the insurance companies handle the fallout from the collision. Taking the three steps below can help preserve evidence and protect against the negative consequences of a crash.
Call for help
If there is damage to your vehicle or the chance of injury to anyone involved, you have an obligation to report the collision. Sometimes, a person who causes a crash will offer cash or a business card with the promise that they will pay to fix your vehicle, provided that you do not call the police.
The problem with this approach is that you will have a hard time getting compensation if there is no record of the crash or who caused it. Calling for emergency services will create a police report that will protect your rights.
Start gathering evidence right away
As soon as you gather your wits after the crash, you may want to start using your phone to gather evidence. You can take video of the scene of the crash as soon as you exit your vehicle. Doing this may allow you to capture footage of the other driver even if they try to leave the scene of the crash.
Taking photos and video footage from multiple angles that show not just the damage to the vehicles but their placement on the road can help you later if the other person tries to claim that you were the one who caused the wreck. At the very least, it is important to document the position of the vehicles before you move them to allow the flow of traffic to continue after a wreck.
When in doubt, have a doctor check you out
Sometimes, you have a broken arm or bump on your forehead that makes it clear you need to see a doctor. Other times, your injuries may be more subtle at first. Internal bleeding, brain injuries and even stable fractures may not be obvious until days after the crash.
Having a physician examine you right after the wreck will improve your prognosis for these conditions. Earlier treatment is often crucial to preventing worse symptoms. Additionally, seeing a doctor right after a crash will connect that diagnosis with the wreck, which will lead to an easier insurance claim.
Taking the right steps after a motor vehicle collision will help protect your rights.