After a crash, you are probably shaken up and confused about what to do.
The steps you take in the minutes and hours after a car collision are some of the most important that will determine whether you receive compensation and how much.
At Platte River Injury Law, we recommend that motorists take the following steps after a car accident in Wyoming.
By following these steps, you can strengthen your ability to hold the driver who caused the accident legally responsible.
Check if Everyone is Okay
You need to make people’s health a priority. Check with everyone in your vehicle if they are okay and call an ambulance immediately if someone needs help.
You can also ask the other people in the vehicles if they need an ambulance. Of course, if you are too injured to call, then ask someone else to make the call for you.
Call the Police
A police officer should come out to the scene and write a police report.
This report can identify who was involved in the crash, the identity of witnesses, and possibly a diagram of how the accident unfolded.
A police report makes it much easier to establish certain facts, such as the date, time, and location of the car accident.
The police officer might also make an initial determination about who is liable, but the officer does not have the final word.
Exchange Insurance Information
Wyoming requires that drivers carry at least $25,000 in bodily injury liability insurance, up to $50,000 per crash.
They also must carry $20,000 in property damage liability insurance.
You should get the name and phone number of the insurance company for everyone involved in the collision. Also, share your insurance information with the other drivers.
Remember that your liability insurance does not cover your own injuries. It only covers injuries to other people and only when you are at fault for the accident.
A picture really is worth a thousand words. Pictures can help establish who is responsible for the collision and the extent of any damage.
Take pictures of the following:
- Where the cars ended up after the crash (if possible). Remember, you need to move your cars out of the way, but if you could get one or two pictures of where the cars came to rest, that would be ideal
- Damage to any vehicle involved in the crash. Walk around each vehicle and snap photos wherever you see the damage
- Debris scattered on the road, such as side mirrors, hubcaps, and fenders
- Skid marks on the road or in the grass
- Anything that might have contributed to the accident, such as a hidden traffic sign or a burnt-out traffic light
If you are injured and unable to take pictures, ask someone else to take them. You can use a smartphone to document everything.
Say Nothing to the Other Driver
Anything you say could come back and undermine your claim for compensation.
Saying something as innocent as, “I’m sorry,” could be construed as you taking responsibility for the accident.
Even stating that you are feeling “okay” could be used against you, by suggesting that you are making up your injuries later. Instead, stand by the side of the road and wait for the police to arrive or sit in your car.
The less you say the better.
Get Medical Attention Promptly
Some injuries take a day or two before you realize them. For example, the symptoms of a traumatic brain injury (headache, nausea, slurred speech) might take one or two days to manifest.
Get to the hospital as soon as possible. The sooner you receive treatment, the more likely you are to improve your condition. Also, remember to follow your doctor’s advice.
Take all prescriptions for the correct amount of time.
If you don’t follow your doctor’s advice, then you could make your conditions worse. This means that you may receive less compensation than if you had listened to your doctor.
Contact Your Insurer
You need to notify your insurer of the collision, usually within a short amount of time.
Remember to call them and give them the necessary details.
Hire an Experienced Casper Car Accident Lawyer
The best way to maximize your compensation is to speak with a car accident lawyer in Casper who can negotiate on your behalf.
Avoid delay. Car accident cases can be fast-moving, and you want to make sure you do everything possible.