1. If there is an injury, call 911. Just after an accident, when the adrenaline is pumping, people might not realize the seriousness of their injuries. If you suspect an injury in the accident, Emergency Medical Services (EMS) should be called to evaluate the injury. People who walk around and appear normal can sometimes have serious injuries.
2. Call the police. Stories change after an accident. Not surprising, the "at-fault" driver says one thing at the accident scene, and then reports something completely different after they leave the scene. Police have specialized training to evaluate an accident's cause.
3. Be safe when getting out of your car. Turn on your vehicle's hazard lights. Look out for oncoming traffic. Assume people driving through an accident scene are not paying attention to pedestrians. Distracted driving is a problem when traffic is flowing normally, it can be deadly when traffic is unexpectedly stopped for an accident.
4. Gather witness information. Sometimes witnesses stop and volunteer their information at auto accident scenes. The Police will typically take the names and contact information of witnesses, but regrettably, there are times the police don't get the contact information necessary. If there is an injury involved, it can be difficult to think about witnesses, but you must protect yourself. Look around the auto accident scene, ask for the names, addresses and phone numbers of people who may have seen or heard the accident. If the witness overhears the other driver admitting they were at fault, that information is admissible in court and the insurance company will take this information serious.
5. Take pictures of the accident scene if possible. Obviously, if you have suffered an injury, you will very likely be unable to take pictures. Call a friend, spouse, or relative to come to the scene as soon as possible to document the positions of the automobile(s), where the debris is located, and the conditions of the automobile(s) involved. Insurance companies deny countless injury claims based on injured people's inability to prove the severity of the automobile's impact with the other auto. If you cannot prove that the impact was more than a fender-bender, the insurance company will attempt to deny your injury claim based on the argument that "your injury could not possibly have been caused by such a minimal impact".
If you have been in a car accident and are dealing with injuries and bills, contact an attorney at Carlson & Burnett for a free initial phone conversation today at (402) 810-8611 or contact us online to see if we can help you with your injury claim/case.