Make sure you are following the law and staying safe after a car crash. Nobody wants to get into a car accident in Tulsa, but the reality is that they happen daily. The average driver is bound to get into an accident at some point in their life, so it is important that every motorist knows what to do if they are involved in a wreck.
You will need to know the procedures that apply after a crash so you can follow the laws and ensure your insurance company compensates you for your damages. Do not let an accident leave you frazzled. Here are the steps you should take after a car accident.
After an accident, you have a legal duty in Tulsa to stop, regardless of whether you were injured. Be sure to pull over in a safe area. If you keep going, you are breaking the law and could be charged with hit and run. This may be a serious crime that can result in felony charges if someone was seriously injured or killed and you did not stop to help.
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Check for Injuries
Check yourself, your passengers, and others for injuries. If anyone is hurt, call 911 for help. If you are seriously injured, do not try to move. Have someone call for help so you do not harm yourself further.
Call the Police
Even if the crash was minor, you should call the police. A police officer will arrive at the accident scene and file a report. This report contains information about the crash, including who is possibly at fault, which can be helpful for the insurance company.
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You will then need to exchange information with the other driver(s). Give them your name, contact information, insurance information, and driver’s license number. You should also get the other driver’s information, as well as information about the make and model of their vehicle.
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Document the Accident
While you are waiting for the police to arrive, you should do your part to gather evidence. Take photos of the damage to your vehicle. Get pictures of any injuries you sustained.
Get the names of any witnesses. Jot down information about the crash, such as the location, the time it occurred, how it happened, and what you were doing before the crash. Once the police arrive, find out how to request a copy of the report, as well.
Start the Claims Process
Inform your insurance company about the accident so you can file a claim for reimbursement. Give your insurer the information they need to process your claim. Make sure they understand all your damages, such as vehicle damage, property damage, and medical expenses.
Hire an Attorney to Work with You
While you do not legally have to hire an attorney to file a claim, it is quite important for you to do so in situations where you suffered significant losses or there is any question about who is to blame. Hiring a Tulsa car accident attorney is critical for several reasons:
- Ensuring you understand all of the losses you have suffered as a result of the incident. That means taking into consideration your short-term and long-term losses.
- Minimizing the risk of the insurance company trying to make you settle for less than they owe you.
- Avoiding being denied coverage. This is a very real incident that can occur in situations where you may wait too long to file a claim, make a misstatement in that claim, or otherwise admit any fault.
- Negotiating the best possible settlement for your case. The experience of an attorney can make a big difference in this area.
- Filing a lawsuit to pursue financial compensation if the insurance company is not being fair in the settlement they are offering.
What to Do After You Receive Care
After you receive medical care and you work with your attorney through this legal process, there are a few more things you can do to minimize your risks of financial loss and ensure you get the compensation owed to you.
- Stay off social media. No matter how tempting it can be to seek out reassurance and support from family and friends, anything you say or post on social media in your own page updates, comments, videos, or forums, can be used against you.
- Continue to receive all follow-up care that your doctor recommends. This can help to show that you are working towards improving your future.
- Avoid engaging in activities that put your injuries at risk. If your doctor told you not to do physical labor, make sure you are not cutting the grass or taking the trash out, as this can lead to photos of you that the insurance company can use against you.
- Avoid making statements like “It was my fault” or “I should have done…” Even if you are making them to a friend, that could put you at risk.
- Allow your car accident attorney to handle all communication with the insurance company and the other parties involved. That helps to protect your rights to compensation as well.
If you have any questions or anything changes in your case, such as new evidence becoming available or your health changes, be sure to let your personal injury attorney know about this right away. Doing so can help to protect you from claims made against you.
It also may help to improve your chance at full recovery, and that is something you want to ensure you are focused on moving forward. When you hire our legal team, we will work closely with you to ensure that you do not have to worry about anything but healing.
Contact Our Tulsa Car Accidents Today
Even if you are careful, a car crash can happen at any time. Make sure you know the steps to take so you are prepared.
The Tulsa car accident attorneys at BDIW Law can help you with the next steps following a car accident. We can deal with the insurance companies and help you obtain compensation. To schedule a consultation, fill out the online form or call our office.
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