You may be in shock after a car crash. That feeling is normal, regardless of how serious or minor your injuries might seem. To safeguard your legal rights, here are a few things you should do right away after a crash.

1. Take Photos

As long as it’s safe to do so, pull out your smartphone, and take snapshots of the accident scene. If possible, take pictures of the position of any cars involved before they pull over or drive away. Your memory, and that of witnesses, will fade over time. Photos preserve the record of what happened at the time of the crash.
Try to get all angles in your photos so that you can identify your point of view and that of the other drivers later on. If you have a notebook handy, take notes about each photo before you forget where you took them. If you spot any passersby or onlookers with their cell phones out, ask for copies of their pictures. Be sure to photograph not only the scene but the damage to each car involved as well.

2. Identify Witnesses

Jot down the name and contact information of anyone who saw the accident. Firsthand accounts may provide crucial details at a later time. Is the witness especially cooperative? Ask them if they’d be willing to text or email you what they saw before they leave the scene.

3. Call the Police

Dial 911 and wait for the police to come and file a report. While doing so, exchange information with the other drivers involved in the crash. You should be honest with the police about what happened. Once you have provided your report, ask the officer if you can leave the scene and do not do so unless he or she has advised that you may do so.

4. Do Not Call Your Insurer — Yet

Most insurance companies will attempt to take a recorded statement from you immediately upon your calling to report the crash. While your insurance policy requires your cooperation and that you report any claims, you should not give a recorded statement to any insurance company until you’ve spoken with an experienced personal injury attorney.

5. Seek Medical Attention

If you feel any pain or discomfort, go to the nearest emergency room or walk-in clinic. If the pain comes on overnight or in the following days, call your PCP and try to get in to be seen right away. Obtaining medical treatment is important for your health and recovery. It’s also important for your legal case.

6. Retain an Experienced Personal Injury Attorney

A car accident, no matter how small, can be a traumatic event. It can take time before you fully understand the severity of your injuries and how long it will take to heal. You deserve to have your best interests looked after as you communicate with your insurer and others involved in your case. Consider contacting Attorney Chelsie M. Lamie, a personal injury attorney in Clearwater, Florida for a free consultation about your accident case. Chelsie is a former insurance adjuster and a former insurance defense attorney. Since 2008, Chelsie has been exclusively handling Plaintiff’s personal injury cases. To learn more, visit Chelsie’s website at www.chelsielamie.com.

© 2017 Chelsie M. Lamie, P.A.

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