What to Do After a Utah Car Accident
If you are injured in a Utah car accident, knowing what to do next can help ensure that you get the care and compensation you need to recover, medically, financially and emotionally.
Hopefully you will never have to face the painful reality of being a car crash victim but, if the unthinkable does come about, here’s what you need to know.
Report the Accident to the Police
Immediately after an accident, call 911. If the crash was truly nothing more than a minor fender bender, contact your local police department and tell them you need officers on scene so you can file a report.
When filing a report, provide the details of the incident to the extent that you remember them. However, you should never provide your opinion on liability or fault.
Finally, don’t forget to ask officers for the report number at the accident scene.
Seek Medical Attention Immediately
Even if you don’t think you suffered any serious injuries, request medical attention at the scene of the crash. Many injuries do not present symptoms immediately, especially if you are in shock.
If the EMTs do not recommend transporting you to the hospital, go yourself once the scene and your vehicle have been secured. This step is critical for protecting your legal rights and your eventual insurance claim.
Gather as Much Evidence as You Can
If you are in a safe location and physically able, try to record the accident scene by taking photos on your phone. Find something to write on and record every detail you can recall.
Make sure you take photos of all involved vehicles from multiple angles, including photos of the vehicles’ license plates. Also photography any details of the scene that could be relevant, including obstructions, construction, traffic markings and signage, etc.
Collect contact and insurance information from everyone involved in the crash. Talk to any witnesses that may be present and request their contact information.
When documenting any accident in which damage or injuries were involved, the more details you can document, the better chance you have of protecting your legal rights.
Have Your Vehicle Towed
Have your car towed to a repair shop, even if you believe it’s drivable.
Much like physical injuries, damage to your vehicle’s frame and suspension may not be obvious. Have an automotive professional inspect your vehicle before you drive it, as it may be unsafe.
Report the Accident to Your Insurance Company
You must report a car crash to your insurance company within a reasonable period of time, no matter who may have been at fault. Failure to do so could violate the terms of your policy.
However, it is important that you not admit fault or speculate as to liability. Provide the basic details and never give a recorded statement until you consult with an attorney.
Document Your Injuries & Damages
To protect your legal rights, it is imperative that you keep careful notes about your injuries and document all damages. Make note of any pain or other symptoms you experience, including dates and times. If you visit the ER or another medical treatment professional, ask for copies of all records.
Assemble all your notes, receipts, police reports, etc. in a notebook or folder.
Protect Your Legal Rights
Contacting a personal injury lawyer is the only way to protect your legal rights after a car accident.
Your lawyer will answer your questions and explain your options for filing a claim or taking legal action. Your lawyer can also connect you with resources to get medical care and provide you with the ability to focus on the important task of recovery.
In the Salt Lake City area, the Symkoviak Law Firm can provide the assistance you need after a car accident. Contact us today for a complimentary consultation.