In the immediate aftermath of a car accident, tensions are high, adrenalin is pumping, and mistakes are often made. These mistakes can result in not being able to recover all your losses, or worse, being held liable for an accident that was not your fault. After being involved in a car accident, there are things that you always want to make sure are done.

Call the police
The police will document the scene in the police report. The insurance company often uses the police report when processing a claim, and the police report works to preserve evidence. Even if you were at fault, the police report will state what damages you are responsible for. This will prevent the other driver from taking advantage of you for any pre-existing damages to the vehicle.

Don’t admit fault
In the wake of an accident, it’s easy to be confused about the events that just transpired. Never admit fault at the scene of an accident, tell the police the truth and let them determine fault.

Record witness contact information
Make sure to gather all contact information from the witnesses on the scene. Some witnesses may not be able to wait around for the police to arrive, and even those who can may not be questioned. Having the contact information for witnesses for your own records may come in handy in the future.

Take pictures
Almost all cellphones can take photographs and video. You should take pictures or video of the scene of the accident, including the position of the cars involved, the damage to each vehicle, and any possible environmental factors that may have contributed to the accident. If you can record video, it can also be beneficial to record witness statements. If you don’t carry a cellphone, or your cellphone doesn’t have the ability to capture photographs or video, then you should keep a disposable camera in your glove box in case of emergencies.

Seek medical attention
Due to the adrenaline pumping through your bloodstream in the aftermath of an accident, you may think that you’ve come away from the accident unscathed, or with only minor injuries that don’t require medical attention. While this may be true, it may just be that the body’s production of adrenaline is masking the pain. If there is any chance that you’ve been injured in an accident, you should seek medical attention so that injuries don’t go untreated and any injuries sustained during the accident can be attributed to the accident for insurance purposes.

Contact a lawyer if you’ve been injured
It’s the job of the insurance company to look out for their own best interests, so it’s important that you have someone on your side who will look out for yours. If you’ve been injured in a car accident, one of the first people you should contact is an attorney who can advise you and represent you if the insurance company is unwilling to pay all your damages. You should speak to an attorney before speaking with the insurance company so that you can go over your statement and make sure you don’t say anything that the insurance company can use against you. People who hire an attorney after being injured in a car accident generally get 2-5 times more money than those who deal with the insurance company themselves.

Exchange insurance information
It’s important to have the other driver’s insurance information. Normally this information is contained in the police report, but occasionally the police don’t include it. For your own records, it’s a good idea to exchange insurance information with the other driver independent of the police.

Have your car inspected by a professional
Not all damage is visible. It’s important to have your car checked out by a professional mechanic to make sure there isn’t any additional damage. A mechanic will also be able to determine whether the damage and/or mechanical issues are due to the accident.

Understand what you are entitled to
Speak with your attorney about what you’re entitled to recuperate in damages.

If you were injured in an accident that was caused by another driver, you should contact a personal injury lawyer to discuss your legal options. For more information on what to do if you were involved in an accident, please contact The Pottenger Law Firm at (816) 531-6006, or visit today for a free consultation.