It can be jarring and scary when a motor vehicle accident occurs. And in the moments following a car crash, you may not know what to do. It is common to enter a state of shock, become disoriented, confused, and have difficulty thinking clearly. Because of the stressful nature of a car crash, you should be prepared with an accident procedure and a checklist of what to do if you are involved in a collision.
If you have been involved in a car accident in Colorado, there are several steps you should follow, and it is critical to take action right away. We recommend keeping a list of phone numbers, your insurance information, a list of questions to ask, and a checklist of information to obtain from the other party in your car in the event an incident does occur.
Use the following steps as a guide on what to do after a crash, and contact us if you or anyone you know need advisement on the proper steps to take following an auto accident.
I was Involved in a Car Accident.
What Do I Do?
1. Do not leave
Never leave the scene of an accident. However, it is important you are out of harm’s way so if necessary, and possible, move your car to a nearby, safe location.
2. Check for Injuries and Call the Police
If a serious injury occurs, call 9-1-1 immediately and tell them you need medical assistance.
Even if no one is seriously injured, you should always call the police. A police report is often needed to file an insurance claim. Additionally, it serves as a valuable piece of evidence in case investigation.
3. Exchange Information with the Other Driver
Ask the other driver for their driver’s license number, insurance card information, address and contact information. Also make sure to obtain their license plate number and document the time and date of the accident.
4. Document and Gather Evidence
Use your phone to take pictures of the scene and any damage sustained to your vehicle as well as the other vehicle, from multiple angles. Also check for skid marks and if there was damage to any property surrounding the accident scene.
If you sustained a visible injury, it is important to document these as well. In addition, obtain contact information and a brief statement from anyone who witnessed the accident.
5. Seek Medical Attention
Whether you were visibly injured or not, we always recommend seeking medical care immediately following a car accident. Latent injuries are common with vehicle crashes and often do not show up right away. Disclose any pain or discomfort you are experiencing, even if it is only slight and be sure to make your doctor aware of any pre-existing conditions.
If you are injured, follow your doctor’s instructions, recommendations for other medical care such as physical therapy, and make sure you do not miss any follow up appointments.
6. Contact Your Insurance
Notify your insurance company as soon as possible, even if you believe you are not at fault. Most insurance companies have policies that require you to notify them within a certain time frame following a motor vehicle accident. It is also important to confirm if you have medical benefits as part of your insurance coverage.
Be honest when speaking to your insurance company and the other driver’s insurance company, but it is best to stick to the details of the accident and avoid discussing who is at fault.
7. Call an Attorney
It is best to consult with a Colorado personal injury lawyer who has extensive knowledge and experience dealing with traffic accident law as soon as possible following the incident. Your lawyer can protect your rights during the legal process, determine how much your claim is worth and the damages you are eligible to collect, and advocate for you against the insurance companies while you focus on your recovery.
The attorneys at Chalat Hatten and Banker have represented victims in virtually every type of traffic accident, across Colorado and understand the shock, trauma and uncertainty car accident victims endure after an auto accident. If you need an experienced car accident lawyer who not only cares about your case, but who can also expertly support, investigate, litigate and negotiate on your behalf, contact us or fill out a free online consultation form.