Being involved in a car accident can be a traumatic and emotionally overwhelming experience. However, it is important to remember that there are certain steps you must take to protect your health and your legal rights to recover financial compensation for your losses (e.g., medical expenses, property damage, lost wages, etc.).
The following is a checklist of things you must do immediately after a crash:
- Check for injuries – If you or other parties involved in a collision suffer serious injuries that require immediate medical attention, call 911 for an ambulance. You should never move an injured person unless he/she is in immediate danger.
- Contact the police – Calling the police to the scene of the accident will ensure an unbiased investigation is conducted. The officer can also provide a copy of the police report, or police report number which is an important piece of evidence in a car accident claim or personal injury lawsuit.
- Document the scene – If you can safely do so, take photos of the damage to all the vehicles involved before they are moved, any injuries, and the entire scene of the accident. Car accident pictures are also one of the strongest pieces of evidence.
- Exchange information with the other drivers involved – Ensure you provide and collect the other driver’s name and license plate number, contact information, and insurance information.
- Reach out to your insurer – Contact your insurance company ASAP to start the claims process. Only provide the basic information, rather than a full detailed report of the accident since you may not know all the facts right away.
Lastly, if you sustained a serious injury that requires extensive medical treatment or you are contacted by the adverse insurance company, you need to contact an experienced personal injury lawyer to protect your rights and best interests. Your attorney can investigate your accident, analyze evidence, negotiate with insurance adjusters, and help you maximize the compensation you’re entitled to.
If you have been injured in a car accident on any island in Hawaii call Daniel T. Pagliarini Attorney at Law or fill out our online contact form today to schedule a free consultation. We have more than 30 years of experience in personal injury law!