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What Should I Do After a Car Accident?

  1. Getting Medical Help After a Car Accident
  2. Calling the Authorities After a Car Accident
  3. Collecting Evidence After a Car Accident
  4. Getting Legal Help After a Car Accident
  5. After a Car Accident, Call Our Firm

What you should do after a car accident is prioritize your health. Go to the emergency room if you are seriously injured. If not, make an appointment with your regular physician as soon as possible.

If you are well enough to stay on the scene, get the other driver’s contact information and take photos of the damage done to you and your vehicle as you wait for the police. After you get home, you can start to weigh your legal options for receiving compensation. Contact Herschensohn Law online or at (206) 588-4344 for more information.

Getting Medical Help After a Car Accident

Car accidents can inflict serious physical injuries, including:

  • Bone fractures
  • Deep cuts or lacerations
  • Whiplash and other neck injuries
  • Spinal cord injuries and other back injuries
  • Burns (if the car explodes or ignites)
  • Amputation
  • Concussions and traumatic brain injuries (TBIs)

If you have any reason to suspect that you are seriously injured (for instance, you are bleeding profusely or were knocked unconscious), call an ambulance. For the moment, do not worry about anything else. The most important thing is that you survive this accident and do everything possible to reduce the severity of your injuries.

In addition to saving your life, prompt medical treatment serves a practical legal purpose. The less time there is between the accident and your first doctor’s visit, the easier it may be to prove the accident is the cause of your injuries.

Calling the Authorities After a Car Accident

call after car accident

If you are well enough to stay at the scene for a while, your first step should be to move your car out of the path of traffic, if at all possible. Then you can call the police.

Legally, you do not have to call the police from the scene of the accident. RCW § 46.52.030 gives you four days to file your report. However, if you are physically able to call them from the scene, they may be able to:

  • Come and render aid if you need help
  • Collect evidence from the scene while it is still fresh and unspoiled
  • Tell you more about what you should do after a car accident

Wait for the police to arrive and answer all of their questions as honestly and as succinctly as possible. Try to avoid speculating about the cause of the accident or admitting guilt. You do not know enough about the accident yet to determine what really happened and who is to blame. If you make any statements regarding those topics, they could jeopardize your chances of receiving compensation.

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Collecting Evidence After a Car Accident

Collecting evidence while it is still fresh could help your case. Evidence could include:

  • Photos and videos: Cell phones make it easier than ever for accident survivors to document their injuries and the scene of the crime mere minutes after the crash occurred.
  • The other driver’s information: You want to be able to contact the person who hit you after you have evaluated your case more thoroughly. Get their name, insurance information, and vehicle license number.
  • Witness information: If anyone tried to assist you after the crash, get their name and phone number. They could provide valuable testimony if you take legal action.
  • The responding officer’s information: This information should be on their accident report. However, it never hurts to confirm it for yourself.

Even if you were unable to collect any evidence after your accident, you could still receive compensation. A car accident lawyer from Herschensohn Law can build a case file on your behalf, including:

  • Gathering any information you missed 
  • Obtaining footage from surveillance or traffic cams, as well as witness cell phone footage
  • Talking to eyewitnesses and the other driver
  • Getting statements from experts who can determine what really happened
  • Analyzing your medical records, to establish the extent and cause of your injuries and the cost of necessary treatment

Getting Legal Help After a Car Accident

getting legal help after a car accident

You have only three years from the accident date to file a case against whoever caused your accident. This is the state statute of limitations, as codified at RCW § 4.16.080.

That said, it is not generally a good idea to wait that long after your accident to file a case. Instead, you should consult our firm as soon as possible since:

  • Evidence is usually easier to find immediately after an accident. If you wait too long, valuable sources of evidence could disappear, making your case harder to prove.
  • Even if your injuries are not healed yet and the ultimate cost of your case is therefore still undetermined, we can begin looking for evidence of the liable party’s guilt and other aspects of the case.

Herschensohn Law can do all of the difficult legal work associated with filing a lawsuit, including:

  • Determining how much you can receive for your medical expenses, pain and suffering, property loss, reduced quality of life, loss of income, and more
  • Figuring out whether you should sue the other driver, a car part manufacturer, a maintenance team, or someone else
  • Contacting the liable party about your lawsuit and asking them to pay a fair settlement 
  • Negotiating a settlement from the liable party’s insurance company, if they are open to communicating in good faith
  • Taking your case to trial, if necessary

If you are ready to begin your case or still have questions about your rights and options, we want to help. Our team is happy to serve you however we can.

After a Car Accident, Call Our Firm

A car accident lawyer from Herschensohn Law in Kent, WA, can help you figure out what you should do after a car accident, especially when it comes to how you should pursue compensation.

Call our office today at (206) 588-4344. A member of our team can provide a free case review and more information about how we can handle your case.

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