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What to Do When You Were Just Involved in an Auto Accident

What to Do When You Were Just Involved in an Auto Accident

With over three million people living in Denver, it makes sense that auto accidents occur frequently. Unfortunately, for many, it is not an issue of if you will be involved in an accident but when.

While being in a collision can be scary and stressful, being prepared and knowing what to do can help.

At Levine Law, our Denver injury attorneys understand the legal aspect of accidents and how to help victims prove negligence and recover compensation. 

However, it is important to remember the following things to have a successful case. This will ensure you do not negatively impact your chance of recovering compensation. 

Stay Calm and Check for Injuries

In the immediate aftermath of an auto accident, staying calm and assessing the situation with a clear mind is crucial. Your priority should be to check for injuries for yourself and others involved. 

If you can, take a few deep breaths to steady your nerves. This can help you think more clearly and act more efficiently. 

If anyone is hurt, call emergency services right away. Remember, safety is paramount; only move injured individuals if they are in immediate danger, such as from a fire or oncoming traffic.

If you have passengers in your vehicle, ensure they are also uninjured. If you’re capable, check on the occupants of other vehicles involved. 

Staying calm can mitigate further panic and confusion at the scene. 

Once everyone is safe, contacting your insurance carrier and a reputable Denver injury attorney soon after an accident will help you navigate the legal process and ensure you protect your legal rights

Move to a Safe Area

After ensuring that injuries are assessed and emergency services have been contacted, the next step is to move to a safe area. If your vehicle is drivable, it’s safe to relocate it to the side of the road or a nearby parking lot to prevent further obstruction of traffic and potential secondary collisions. 

Turn on your hazard lights to signal other drivers that your vehicle is compromised. This is particularly important in busy areas like Denver, where traffic can be heavy and unpredictable.

If the vehicles involved in the accident are immobilized, all occupants should move to a safe location away from the roadway. Standing on the roadside can be extremely hazardous, especially on highways and busy streets. 

Find a secure spot on the shoulder, behind a barrier, or a nearby sidewalk. A clear and unobstructed view of the traffic can help you stay safe while you await assistance.

Call the Police

Once everyone is safe and out of immediate danger, it’s essential to call the police to report the accident. Even in minor accidents, having a police presence can be invaluable. 

Officers can help manage traffic, ensure safety, and document the scene. This official documentation can be crucial for your Denver injury attorney when pursuing a legal case or insurance claim. 

Provide the police with a clear and accurate account of the events leading up to the accident. Be sure to mention any injuries, damages, and other pertinent details.

Having the police on the scene also helps deter any attempts by other involved parties to alter their account of events later on. The official police report provides an impartial, factual record that your Denver injury attorney can use to build a strong case on your behalf. 

Ensuring the police are called to the scene not only aids in immediate safety and traffic management but also significantly strengthens your position when dealing with legal and insurance matters after the accident.

Document the Scene and Exchange Information

After calling the police and waiting for their arrival, it’s important to document the scene and exchange information with all parties involved. 

Begin by taking detailed photographs of the accident scene, including all vehicles, visible damages, road conditions, traffic signs, and other relevant details. This visual evidence will be invaluable for your auto accident lawyer in Denver when building your case. Make sure to capture different angles and close-ups of the damaged areas to provide a thorough perspective of the accident.

Next, essential information should be exchanged with the other drivers involved. Collect their names, contact information, driver’s license numbers, and insurance details. If there are witnesses, try to gather their contact information and ask if they are willing to provide a statement. 

Witnesses can offer crucial third-party perspectives that support your version of events. Additionally, jot down the specifics of the accident’s location, such as the street names, intersections, and any nearby landmarks.

While gathering this information, remain calm and courteous. Avoid discussing the accident details or admitting fault, as this can be used against you later. It’s also beneficial to write down your recollection of events as soon as possible while the details are fresh. This personal account and the collected evidence will be essential for your car accident lawyer in Denver to represent you effectively.

Seek Medical Attention

Seeking medical attention immediately after an accident is also crucial, even if you feel fine initially. Some injuries may not be immediately apparent and manifest symptoms hours or days later. 

Prompt medical evaluation ensures that any injuries are diagnosed and treated early, preventing complications and ensuring a complete medical record for your Denver injury attorney to reference. Emergency responders on the scene can provide initial assessments, but it’s advisable to visit a hospital or a certified medical professional for a thorough examination.

When you visit a healthcare provider, be sure to provide a detailed account of the accident and describe any symptoms, no matter how minor they seem. This medical documentation will help you receive the full compensation you deserve for your injuries. Keep all medical records, prescriptions, and bills as part of your documentation, as these serve as proof of the extent and impact of your injuries.

Additionally, follow all prescribed treatments and attend follow-up appointments to ensure a full recovery. Ignoring medical advice can not only affect your health but also weaken your legal case, as it may be argued that you failed to mitigate your injuries. Consistent medical care demonstrates the seriousness of your injuries and supports the claims process.

Notify Your Insurance Company

After documenting the scene and seeking medical attention, you must notify your insurance company about the accident immediately. Reporting the incident ensures that your claim is processed promptly and all necessary steps are taken to protect your rights. 

When you contact your insurance provider, provide them with a factual account of the accident, including the date, time, location, and a detailed description of the events. 

Be prepared to share the information you gathered at the scene, such as photographs, witness statements, and the contact and insurance details of the other parties involved. Your insurance company may also request a copy of the police report once it becomes available. This documentation helps your insurer assess the claim accurately, facilitating a smoother and more efficient claims process.

During your communication with the insurance company, avoid admitting fault or speculating about the cause of the accident. Stick to the facts and let the investigation determine the liability. 

Also, record all correspondence with your insurer, including phone calls, emails, and letters. This documentation can be valuable for your Denver injury attorney if any disputes arise during the claims process.

Consult with a Colorado Car Accident Attorney

Consulting with a Colorado car accident attorney at Levine Law is an important step in safeguarding your legal rights and securing the best possible outcome for your case. An experienced attorney can provide the knowledge needed to navigate the complexities of auto accident claims and ensure you receive fair compensation for your injuries and losses. 

During your initial consultation, the attorney will review the details of your accident, including all documentation you’ve gathered, such as photographs, witness statements, and medical records.

Your attorney will advise you on the best course of action, which may include negotiating with insurance companies, gathering additional evidence, and, if necessary, representing you in court. 

They will also help you understand your legal options and the potential value of your claim. Additionally, an attorney can handle all communications with insurance adjusters and opposing counsel, allowing you to focus on your recovery without the stress of managing legal matters.

It’s essential to choose a car accident lawyer who has a proven track record in Colorado and who understands the local laws and regulations. Look for an attorney who offers a free consultation and works on a contingency fee basis, meaning they only get paid if you win your case. This arrangement ensures that your attorney is motivated to achieve the best possible outcome for you.

Follow Through with Your Doctor’s Recommendations

Following through with your doctor’s recommendations is critical for your health and the success of your injury claim. Adhering to your prescribed treatment plan, attending all scheduled appointments, and taking any prescribed medications demonstrate your commitment to recovery and provide concrete evidence of your injuries and their impact. 

Failure to follow medical advice can be used against you, suggesting that your injuries are not as severe as claimed or that you are not taking necessary steps to recover.

Keep detailed records of all medical treatments, including dates of visits, types of treatment received, and any prescribed medications. This documentation supports your case by illustrating the extent and ongoing nature of your injuries. 

Additionally, following your doctor’s recommendations can potentially prevent further complications and speed up your recovery process, allowing you to return to your normal activities sooner.

If you experience any new symptoms or issues, inform your healthcare provider immediately. Promptly addressing any health concerns prevents further injury and ensures that your medical records accurately reflect your condition. 

Protecting Your Rights After an Auto Accident

Navigating the aftermath of a car accident can seem overwhelming, but by taking strategic and informed steps, you can significantly improve your situation. Each of the steps listed here plays a vital role in protecting your legal rights and ensuring you receive the compensation necessary to cover your medical expenses, lost wages, and other damages.

Remember, the road to recovery is not just about physical healing but also about achieving a sense of justice and financial stability. By working with an experienced auto accident lawyer in Denver and adhering to recommended protocols, you can confidently navigate the complexities of your case and focus on rebuilding your life. 

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