Steps to Take Following a Michigan Car Crash
A car accident is stressful, but the best way to handle the situation is to take a deep breath and try to remain calm and composed. A crash usually brings on a surge of adrenaline, which may mask your injuries and amplify your emotions. You may have to carefully check your body, as well as any passengers in your vehicle, for signs of trauma.
Do not discuss fault or liability with the other driver, but instead focus on the health and safety of everyone involved. Below are some steps for you to follow after a car accident. If you have been injured and need legal advice, contact McKeen & Associates for an obligation-free consultation with a Michigan personal injury attorney.
1. Call 911
When there are injuries, call 911. The call will prompt emergency responders, including paramedics and police.
2. Do not speak with other parties
It's important to collect information from the other driver (step 3), but avoid discussing blame and guilt. Check on the well-being of others, but avoid saying the word "sorry." If another driver admits guilt, make note of it, but it doesn't help for you to offer your perspective on the crash. Try to politely avoid talking with the other driver.
The police will ask you to make a statement, but do so calmly and take your time.
3. Exchange information
If you're physically able to, you should exchange information with the other driver, including insurance. Record as much information as you can about the other vehicles, including the make, model, color and license plate number. Write down anything potentially useful.
4. Gather evidence
If someone witnessed your accident and you believe he or she will support your claim, kindly ask for contact information, including name, phone number and address. A witness may seem reluctant to get involved, but if you believe he or she could help, ask for this information.
If you believe you're in the right, safely take pictures or video of the accident scene. The police may take photos or video, but you can never have too much supporting evidence.
5. Medical treatment
Even seemingly minor injuries may be severe, but adrenaline often dulls the pain. Getting medical treatment will not only help you heal, but will also create an important record of your injuries for your accident claim.
6. Call your insurer
When you can safely do so, contact your insurance company. Many insurers have time limits for submitting a claim, so be timely. Your insurer may ask you questions about the accident; your answers should be consistent with what you provided to the police.
7. Speak with an attorney
In car accidents involving serious harm or fatalities, it's important for you to speak with a personal injury lawyer as soon as you are able to. An experienced attorney can begin helping your cause immediately, which is important because evidence can quickly disappear or be lost. Also, a lawyer can ensure that you don't miss important deadlines that may bar your claim.
McKeen & Associates, PC, staffs experienced Michigan car accident attorneys who can ensure that you're fully compensated for the harm you've suffered. Call 866-585-1076 or contact us online for an obligation-free consultation with a skilled lawyer.