Most of us have been in a car accident at some point. Serious wrecks with long-term bodily injury to someone involved are (thankfully) much less common in Connecticut. Still, they do happen virtually every day in the Nutmeg State.
No matter how skilled and experienced you are at driving, you could be unable to avoid a serious crash someday. If that happens, you could be left with serious injuries that affect your ability to work or take care of yourself and your family. State law says that the party that negligently caused the wreck is responsible for damages suffered by others. So if the other driver caused the accident, you can seek compensation from them and their auto insurance company.
What to do after a wreck (if you can)
But making your case is not necessarily simple. There are things you can do in the minutes and hours after your crash that can help you maximize your financial compensation. Here are six tips for what to do after a car accident (assuming it’s safe to do so):
- Check to see if you or anybody else in your car was hurt. If anyone needs medical attention, call 911 or ask someone else to do so.
- Exchange insurance information with the other drivers involved. Get their names, addresses, phone numbers, driver’s license numbers and insurance provider and policy numbers. Also collect the vehicles’ license plate numbers and their makes and models. Your cellphone camera can be very useful. Otherwise, you can write down this information. Also give this information to the others, but don’t share unnecessary personal details like your Social Security number or the coverage limits on your insurance policy.
- Document the scene using your phone. Take video and photos of the damage to your vehicle, the other cars and anything relevant in the surrounding area.
- Avoid saying anything that could be interpreted as an apology or admission of guilt. And don’t argue if the other driver claims it was not their fault. Emotions tend to be running high, and an assault from the other driver could only make your injuries worse.
- Just because you feel “fine” after a crash does not necessarily mean you were not hurt. Some auto accident injuries don’t start hurting for a day or two. Make an appointment to see your doctor as soon as possible.
- Contact your insurance company to report the accident. Call or use the company’s app if they have one. The sooner you start the claims process, the better.
Depending on the nature of your injuries and the complexity of the case, working with a personal injury attorney can help you collect the maximum compensation available.