what to do after a car accidentFortunately, property damage only crashes make up the majority of accidents in the state of Nebraska. However, according to the Nebraska Department of Transportation, there were 12,259 injury crashes in 2018.

Protect Yourself by Doing the Right Things After an Accident 

Whether you are injured in a crash or simply have damage to your vehicle, this handy checklist of to-dos can help if you are after a car accident.

  1. Stay at the scene of the accident, even if it appears to be a minor incident. 
  2. Protect your safety and that of those around you by turning on your flashers or setting up flares around the scene. If it’s dark and your headlights don’t work, you should have a flashlight with you to light up the scene. 
  3. Call the police, even if the accident is minor. You’ll need a police report to file a claim with your insurance company. Keep vehicles where they are until the police arrive unless they are blocking traffic.  
  4. Exchange information with anyone else involved with the accident. This includes names, addresses, driver’s license numbers, and insurance information. 
  5. State the facts as you know them once the police arrive. Do not make any guesses or speculations as to what happened. If you are unsure as to whether or not you are injured, say so—don't simply assume you are fine. 
  6. If possible, take pictures at the scene of the accident. Photograph the vehicles involved, the locations of relevant stoplights, skid marks at the site, and anything else you think might be relevant. If you have suffered any personal injury, be sure to photograph that as well. 
  7. Report the accident to your insurance company as soon as possible. 
  8. Seek medical attention—even if you don’t think you are injured. Injuries that occur as a result of car accidents are often not immediately apparent, but their effects can have serious ramifications. Unless you are completely certain you are not injured, you should go to the emergency room or your regular physician to get checked out.  
  9. Keep track of all accident-related documents, including insurance information, names and phone numbers of all contacts, receipts for expenses, medical reports, and the like. 

Consult With an Attorney 

If you have suffered injuries as a result of another driver’s mistake, hiring an attorney is the most important step you can take to protect your right to compensation. Without someone to advocate for your needs, you risk being offered a settlement that doesn’t fully cover your medical expenses, lost wages, and pain and suffering.

Personal injury lawyers work on a contingency basis, so you will not have to pay for representation while you recover compensation for your injuries. The fee for legal services will be taken out of the settlement you receive. 

Contact the Law Office of Matthew A. Lathrop to schedule a free consultation.

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