According to the Wisconsin Department of Transportation, drivers are involved in more than 100,000 traffic crashes every year. Unfortunately, many of those car accidents result in injuries and significant medical expenses; both circumstances warrant legal consultation.
There are steps drivers can take moments after the accident that can be beneficial for drivers, both personally and financially. Because the time after a car accident can be overwhelming, we’ve listed the steps to take after an accident in a simple checklist.
Do an initial check after the car accident
___Don’t move the vehicle (unless it is unsafe to stay in place). Wait for a police officer to give instructions to move the vehicle.
___If possible, turn on vehicle flashers so the vehicle is visible to other motorists. ___Assess the condition of everyone in the vehicle and determine if anyone is hurt. (Remember, that not all car accident injuries are immediately evident.)
___Call 9-1-1 to report the accident.
___Seek medical attention if anyone is hurt.
___Take pictures of the accident scene (if possible). (Try to get photos of the scene, vehicles, vehicle damage, and the surrounding area.)
___Gather information from the other driver: name, phone number, address, and insurance information. (Do not say anything else, as this may negatively impact financial compensations later.)
___Get the name and information of any eyewitnesses (or license plate number).
___Give information to emergency responders, including name, license, car registration, insurance information, and instructions for towing.
___Mention any injuries or pain to emergency responders.
Schedule follow-up appointments
___Make appointments to address medical needs and long-term care after the accident (i.e. doctor, physical therapy, chiropractor, etc.) (Be aware that some injuries show up days after the accident. Take photos of all injuries.)
___Schedule a meeting with a local, experienced car accident lawyer to discuss the specifics of the accident. (Bring these documents to the meeting.)
___Contact the auto insurance company to notify them of the accident.
___Never talk to the other driver’s insurance company until AFTER consulting a lawyer. (Ask the lawyer what information should be given to the insurance company.)
___Save documents related to the accident, including receipts, police reports, medical bills, and insurance documents.
___Consult with the lawyer about any deadlines that need to be met after an auto accident.