According to the Washington State Department of Transportation, a crash occurred in Washington approximately every 4.5 seconds in 2015. Car accidents can be a very stressful experience for drivers and their passengers, so it's important to remain calm at all times to help rationalize your decisions. Being prepared and knowing what to do at the scene can help. Here is a quick checklist:
It is normal to feel emotions of fear, shock, and anxiety following an accident, but staying calm is essential in properly executing the next steps. A few deep breaths can help you stay calm.
The most important thing to do after an accident is to make sure you, your passengers, and the other parties are safe. If possible, move your vehicle off the road. Remember, do not leave the scene, and do not exit your vehicle unless it is safe to do so.
Check Yourself For Injuries
You may not feel any pain from injuries immediately after the accident—it's just the adrenaline. It is important you take the time to thoroughly examine your body for cuts, sprains, fractures, and other injuries. If you discover an injury, seek help right away.
Check On the Other Parties
The well-being of others is just as important as your own, so be sure to check on the other people involved in the accident. If anyone is injured, call 911 immediately.
Conduct An Investigation
Start by collecting the (1) name, (2) phone number, (3) address, and (4) a picture of the driver's license number of all the parties involved in the accident. In addition, take pictures of the:
- The scene;
- Any debris from the accident; and
- Your injuries.
If any witnesses are present at the scene, be sure to save their names, phone numbers, and addresses, as they are beneficial in documenting your case. Furthermore, keep an eye out for any nearby businesses that may have caught the accident on their surveillance cameras. Contacting law enforcement is always recommended so they can make an official log/information of the accident.
Seek Medical Treatment
If you are seriously injured, emergency services will likely arrive at the scene and take you to the nearest hospital, where you will receive the necessary medical care. However, if your injuries do not warrant immediate medical care, you are advised to go to an emergency room or urgent care and/or schedule a visit with your doctor as soon as possible. When visiting a medical provider, it is important to recount how the collision occurred and to list all of the injuries you sustained resulting from the accident.
Call Your Insurance Company
Once you have all the accident details, call your auto insurance company and report the accident. They will assign a claim number to the case you must write down. Also, the insurance adjuster will likely ask for an oral statement. Although, per your insurance policy, you are likely required to provide a statement, we recommend you hold off until you speak with a personal injury attorney.
Schedule A Consultation With a Car Accident Attorney
Once you have been medically treated, you should immediately consider working with an experienced attorney. They are beneficial when dealing with the legal matter of a car accident and increase your chances of having a successful case. It's important that you speak with an attorney before speaking to any insurance companies.
We Can Help
If you have been injured in an auto accident caused by another driver's negligence, you may be owed financial compensation. Here at Kode Law Firm, PLLC, we have the skill and experience you need to get you the justice you deserve. Even if you are on the fence about working with a skilled attorney, we want to talk to you! Our initial consultations are free, so you have nothing to lose. Let us help.
Contact us today at (206) 312-4320 or visit us online to schedule your free consultation.