Over the years, I have received thousands of calls from people involved in car accidents in the state of Ohio. Sometimes the victims call me from the scene of the accident, others wait a couple of days, but in some cases, the calls come months or even years after the accident.
What many people don’t realize is every moment following a car accident effects the outcome of a personal injury lawsuit. Every action taken after your collision can help or hurt your potential injury case.
Here are five things you should NOT do after your Ohio car accident:
1. Don’t flee the scene. After you’re involved in a car accident, no matter the severity, you are required by law to report it to the police. So, even if you don’t notice any property damage, and neither of the parties to the accident are injured, you cannot leave the scene until you:
- Have a conversation with the other party to the accident
- Check to see if anyone involved was injured
- Exchange insurance information
- Contact the police
2. Don’t forget to call 9-1-1. It is important to call 9-1-1 for the following reasons:
- Car accidents are dangerous. After a car accident, you and the other parties need to be examined by a medical professional. Sometimes injuries don’t manifest the way you would expect, and it is possible to have injuries without even realizing it.
- Without calling authorities, there is no way to know if the at-fault party is insured. If you were the victim in an accident and you don’t verify the existence of active insurance, you are the one who will suffer. Protect yourself.
- You have to call 9-1-1 after an accident because you need documentation. An accident report is essential to a personal injury case; without one, it is nearly impossible for me to get you the compensation you deserve.
3. Don’t get emotional. Following your accident, you will feel many emotions – anxiety, fear, pain, anger – you can’t let those emotions affect your behavior. It is important to stay level-headed; be understanding if the accident wasn’t your fault, and/or apologetic if it was your fault. Getting emotional will only make a tough situation harder, and you may end up saying or doing something you regret.
4. Don’t forget to write everything down/save any and all potential evidence. Everything, and I mean EVERYTHING, about your accident is important. After an accident, try to remember everything you can and document it. As time goes by, the events of the day will fade from your memory, so getting it down on paper while it’s still fresh in your mind will help. If you collect any other information that may be important, write that down, too – for example, the other party’s insurance information and the police officer’s contact information.
5. Don’t avoid the aftermath. An accident can turn your life and lives of your family members upside down. Generally, you will come away from an accident injured, sometimes without transportation, medical bills, and a lot of questions. It may seem overwhelming at first, but make sure you do whatever you can stay on top of things.
- Get the medical treatment you need.
- Register your insurance claim.
- Repair or replace your transportation.
- Communicate with your insurance company.
- Call me, your experienced Ohio personal injury lawyer.
Every car accident is a traumatic experience for the parties involved.
After an accident you may be anxious, scared, injured, and vulnerable. It isn’t always easy to remember what to do, but I guarantee if you remember what NOT to do, you’ll be okay. If you or a loved one was involved in a car accident, you have to call me right away at 1 (877) 944-4373. I will help through the complicated legal process and work hard to get you the compensation you deserve.
Author: Tim Misny | For 33 years, personal injury lawyer Tim Misny has represented the injured victim in birth injury, medical malpractice, and catastrophic injury/wrongful death cases, serving “Cleveland, Akron/Canton, Columbus & Cincinnati, Ohio.” You can reach Tim by email at firstname.lastname@example.org or call at 1 (877) 944-4373.