Auto accidents are life-changing events that can be debilitating and take unsuspecting victims off-guard. Given the high-stress environment of an auto accident, it can be easy to get lost amidst the confusion, unsure of what to do next.
This guide provides an antidote to the post-accident confusion, offering Alabama residents a general overview of the steps to take after an accident that will ensure you are prepared in the aftermath of an auto accident.
#1 Seek Medical Attention Immediately
After an accident vehicles are often totaled, and property damage is a foregone conclusion in any accident. Concerns over damaged vehicles and property can tempt accident victims to check on the status of their property before taking care of their health concerns or the physical status of other parties involved in the accident. Avoid this temptation.
First, adrenaline often kicks in after an accident, preventing the injured from recognizing their injuries. However, in Mobile, Baldwin and Escambia Counties alone, there were well over 1,500 non-incapacitating injuries recorded in the past year (1,153, 439 and 87 for each county, respectively). These injuries deserved medical attention from the outset, but some of these injuries were likely ignored for too long since the victims were not fully incapacitated.
Always seek treatment for post-accident symptoms such as dizziness and seemingly minor pains. While it is easy to discard these symptoms as “minor”, they can often be signs of serious brain injuries or other medical issues that deserve to be treated immediately.
In short, put health first and property second.
A vehicle is always replaceable, but a life is not.
#2 Fully Document the Event and Report the Accident to Proper Authorities
After ensuring that you and any other injured parties at the accident have received proper medical attention, grab a pen and smartphone to start documenting evidence and information pertaining to the accident. This information can be used by your Alabama auto accident attorney to best represent you in any legal matters stemming from the accident.
- If you have an intact smartphone, take pictures of the accident scene, vehicle damage and any injuries you have sustained.
- Then, write down your experience of the accident while also writing down the statements of witnesses on the scene.
- Next, record the contact information (phone numbers and email addresses will suffice), license plate numbers and insurance information of all parties to the accident. In the event that a police officer arrived on the scene, be sure to obtain the officer’s contact information so you can receive a copy of their police report at a later date.
- Also, if you were treated for injuries at a hospital, collect all relevant information from the hospital visit. All of this information can then be handed over to your Alabama injury attorney, ensuring that your lawyer has a plethora of information available to help your case in an ideal manner.
- Finally, report the accident to the Alabama Department of Public Safety since this is a legal requirement in the state of Alabama. Should you fail to do so, you could be at risk of losing your Alabama driver’s license.
#3 Avoid Admitting Fault Until Consulting with an Experienced Alabama Accident Attorney
Never make an admission of guilt until you have talked your case over with your attorney. Even if you believe that you were at fault, a full investigation of the accident should be conducted before making a liability determination. As an example, if your brakes failed, it may seem that you were at fault to witnesses on the scene, but a full investigation may show that the brake manufacturer was at fault instead.
Regardless, whether at fault or not, it is essential to get in touch with an attorney who will help you understand your legal rights and the best way to proceed with your case. If you have been the victim of a negligent driver in Mobile, Baldwin or Escambia County, an experienced Alabama injury attorney can negotiate on your behalf to receive a better settlement or higher damages in court. When trying to piece your life back together after an accident, your Alabama attorney will be an indispensable resource who will fast-track your personal road to restoration. Contact Noel B. Leonard today or call 251-732-2701 and schedule a consultation to discuss your auto accident claim today.