What to Do After an Accident
Particularly if you suffer injuries, keeping a clear head after an accident can be challenging. But if your injuries do not prevent you from remaining on the scene, everything you do or say can make a difference to the safety of all involved parties — and it can help or hinder your ability to pursue compensation from anyone responsible for the accident.
I am Maryville personal injury lawyer Kevin W. Shepherd, and I want all individuals involved in car and auto accidents to achieve the best possible results. Every driver should become familiar with the Comprehensive Driver License Manual published by the Tennessee Department of Safety, which provides instructions on handling the aftermath of traffic crashes. But the following tips can help you protect your safety and your legal rights after any type of accident.
First, call for help
Fault does not matter when injured people need help. Call 911 to bring police and emergency personnel to the scene. If you do not have a phone, ask others to make this vital call.
Do not admit fault
After an accident, you typically need to conduct business with others involved, with witnesses and with the police. Most individuals experience a degree of shock after an accident, which limits their ability to accurately recollect accident details. Do not attempt to discuss the causes of the accident with others at the accident scene. Even in conversations with police, avoid admitting any degree of fault.
Collect information and evidence
If your injuries permit you to remain at the accident scene, collect the following information and evidence to help preserve your rights to compensation:
- Contact information for everyone involved in the accident and for witnesses — including license and insurance card information for all drivers in a car accident, and insurance information for property owners in the case of slip and fall or other premises-related accidents
- Photos of all damages and injuries, including all damaged vehicles
- Photos of the accident scene, including skid marks and positions of vehicles after a car accident
- A copy of the police report
- A notebook you use to record details about the accident and progress of your claim, including any statements of fault you overheard at the accident scene
Seek medical attention
Do not assume that apparently minor injuries — such as a headache — do not require a doctor. Delayed onset injuries typically start with a minor symptom, only to develop into a debilitating condition, and even cuts can become infected if not properly treated. Be sure to retain copies of all doctor bills and receipts for medication, bandages or other items you purchase to treat your injuries.
Before filing a claim, contact an experienced Maryville personal injury attorney for a free consultation
Filing an insurance claim may not be the best option for obtaining the full compensation you deserve. I offer free initial consultations to assess your legal options. If an insurance claim makes sense in your case, I advise you on how to handle your claim effectively. For more information, or to schedule a consultation with Shepherd and Associates, P.C., call 865-225-9655 or fill out the contact form on this website.
I handle accident claims on a contingency fee basis. You pay no attorney fees until I successfully obtain compensation for you.