Steps You Should Take After an Auto Accident
Auto accidents happen every day on Colorado roads. These car crashes range from minor fender benders to deadly collisions. If you have ever been in a car accident then you likely know how confusing it can be to know what to do next. This post will provide you with guidance to help you handle those critical minutes and hours after the car accident.
Stay at the Scene of the Accident
If you have an accident with another vehicle you must remain at the scene of the crash, even if the damage seems minor. If remaining at the accident site puts you or the other driver in greater danger then you should carefully pull to the side of the road near the crash site. Obviously, if serious injuries may have occurred, the most important thing is to make sure medical treatment is obtained.
Call the Police Immediately and File a Report
Colorado law requires filing a police report for any auto accident that caused an injury, even minor ones. An incident report will be filled out by the police officer, which provides all the relevant information for those involved in the crash. For more serious accidents the officer will prepare an accident report, which will help you in filing an insurance claim and possibly bringing a lawsuit if the other person was at fault. Make sure you call the police, even if the other driver wants to avoid it – this may be the only way to get the truth of what happened on the record. When the police arrive, tell them the facts of what happened – avoid speculation about possible causes of the accident.
Use Your Phone to Take Pictures
If you are able to take pictures of the damage and crash site this can be a helpful piece of information. Both photos and videos can help with insurance and legal claims. You should wait for the police to arrive before doing this, just in case the other driver is hostile. Be sure to obtain witnesses’ contact information and ask them to provide statements to the police. Also, if appropriate, potential witnesses may provide you a video statement, which could be helpful evidence.
Exchange Information with the Other Driver
Again, this depends on how severe the injuries are and whether the other driver is cooperative. If possible, exchange contact information with the other driver and exchange insurance information (you can use your phone to get photos of their insurance card, license plate, and driver’s license). Be careful not to make any statements of blame or fault to the other driver. The fault of an accident is not always clear-cut. Be sure, however, to provide the police with all relevant facts and evidence about what happened.
Contact a Colorado Auto Accident Attorney
What seems like a minor crash with no immediate or visible injuries can turn into a legal nightmare. Sometimes injuries are masked by the adrenaline from the crash or by other more immediate injuries. It may be several days before certain injuries are noticed or when you realize you just are not getting better. The most important thing you can do after an accident is obtain the best medical care you can to take care of your injuries. But you should also make sure that when an accident is caused by the negligent or reckless conduct of another person, you have a qualified attorney in your corner to consult about the accident and relevant insurance issues. Most law firms offer free initial case evaluations so you can get clarity on your case with no risk to you.
The Colorado car accident attorneys at Burg Simpson have successfully litigated thousands of motor vehicle accident cases involving cars, trucks, semis, motorcycles and other vehicles. If you or a loved one have been seriously injured in a motor vehicle accident, fill out the Free Case Evaluation form to contact us today for a free consultation.