After a car accident, you might be tempted to just get back into your car and go – especially if you do not think you are seriously hurt. Unfortunately, that’s not the best thing to do for your safety or legal rights. There are things you should do and should not do after a fender-bender accident.
Depending on the circumstances of the accident, there are some steps that are more important than others. If you're involved in a car accident, and nobody is hurt, you don't necessarily need to do any drastic. However, you still need to see a doctor on the day of the accident in case an injury, such as whiplash or a back problem, surfaces at a later date. Also, you should be certain to contact a New Mexico car accident lawyer as soon as you can.
Do Not Forget to Check for Injuries and Call Emergency Services
If there are any injuries involved in the accident, you should be sure to check yourself as well as the other people involved. If anyone is seriously injured, call emergency services immediately.
If you were just involved in a minor accident and you are uninjured, but the other driver appears to have injuries, still call emergency services.
The EMTs who come to the scene will likely check everyone to make sure everyone is safe and uninjured. Additionally, the police will make a preliminary determination as to whether either party was at fault. You should also visit a doctor to make sure you’re safe and healthy. While you may feel okay, you still need to confirm everything with a medical provider.
Don’t Overlook Recording the Event or Taking Videos and Pictures
If anything about the accident is confusing, it’s always a good idea to write down the information or record it. Take pictures of the visible damage to both cars and keep notes on who was at the scene, what they said, and any other factors that may be important later.
If you are able to, it’s also helpful to try and get the names of any witnesses to the crash. You might ask them to write down what they saw. Having these notes and pictures can help you later if there are any disagreements about who is at fault for the collision.
Don't’ Leave Without Exchanging Information
Exchange information with the other driver. You’ll want to get the other person's name, address, phone number, insurance information, and license plate number. If you are dealing with an uncooperative driver or you can't get this information, take down their license plate number or take a picture of it and the car.
Don’t Get Upset - Or Say Anything Out of Anger
Stay objective while communicating with people at the scene. Don’t express yourself emotionally, as the other party may use it against you later. For example, don’t blame the other driver or even say you’re sorry. Remain objective. These types of comments may hurt you if you file a personal injury accident claim.
Don’t Leave Without Checking Your Vehicle
Again, after a minor car accident, thoroughly check your car for damage. Look over the exterior of the car for dents or scratches, and open doors or hoods to inspect the inside of the car as well.
If you find any dents or dings, take pictures of them immediately, so you have a record of the situation. It's also a good idea to try and find any debris from the other car that may have flown into your car during the accident.
See a mechanic right after the accident. Some damages are hidden from view and may create a safety hazard. You may have to have the car towed from the scene.
Don’t Wait to Report the Damages to Your Insurer
The longer you wait to report your damages, the more difficult it is to settle a claim. Therefore, make sure you report damages or injuries immediately.
Don’t Overlook the Importance of Contacting a Personal Injury Lawyer
Also, contact a personal injury attorney to see where you stand with respect to a settlement. You may be able to get more money for your damages, injuries, and losses. An experienced lawyer can ensure that you obtain the full and fair value of your claim.
Review Your Personal Injury Claim with a New Mexico Car Accident Lawyer
After a car accident, it’s important to take care of yourself and your car. Make sure to get medical attention and inspect your car for damage. Get your car repaired as soon as possible, and be sure to inform your car insurance company. However, don’t agree to an insurance settlement without consulting with an attorney. Contact [email protected] for further details today. Our attorneys are licensed in D.C., Texas, Michigan, and New Mexico.