Car accidents happen quickly. In the moments following a car crash, it is common to enter a state of shock and become disoriented, making it hard to remember what to do. If you’re like most people, you studied the proper steps to take after an accident occurs in Driver’s Ed, passed the test, then drove off with your newly printed license, and quickly forgot. Not to mention, many things have changed since we were teenagers.
While it’s not something anyone wants to think about, it’s important to know the steps to take after a car accident. Being prepared can increase the chance of a better settlement outcome for yourself and your passengers. Here is a step-by-step guide of what you should do after you are involved in a Denver auto accident.
7 Steps to Take After A Car Accident in Colorado
1. Do Not Leave, But Get to Safety
- If the car accident is minor, your car is safe to drive, and/or is causing a hazard, move your vehicle to a safe place on the side of the road. Otherwise, leave it where it is and get yourself to safety.
- Turn your vehicle off, and turn your hazard lights on.
- If you are seriously injured, try not to move, and wait for emergency personnel.
- Remember, it is illegal to leave the scene of an accident.
2. Check for Injuries and Call the Police
- If a serious injury occurs, call 911 immediately and tell them you need medical assistance.
- When in doubt, call an ambulance.
- Always call the police, even if the car accident is minor and no one is seriously injured. A police report is an important document for the insurance claim process because it can help establish who is at fault.
3. Exchange Information
- Drivers and passengers: names and contact information, including address and phone numbers;
- Driver’s license numbers;
- Vehicle descriptions (make, model, year);
- License plate numbers;
- Insurance companies and policy numbers;
- Eyewitnesses: names and contact information;
- Accident scene location and/or address, time and date of the accident;
- Police officer’s name and badge number;
4. Document and Gather Evidence
- Use your phone to take pictures of the scene.
- Document any damage to your vehicle as well as the other vehicle, from multiple angles.
- Check for skid marks and and any property damage surrounding the accident scene.
- It is important to document any visible injuries as well.
5. Seek Medical Attention
- Whether you were visibly injured or not, always seek medical care immediately following a car accident. Latent injuries are common with motor vehicle crashes and often do not show up right away.
- Disclose any pain or discomfort, even if it is only slight.
- Be sure to make your doctor aware of any pre-existing conditions.
- If you are injured, follow your doctor’s instructions and recommendations for other medical care such as physical therapy, and make sure you do not miss any follow-up appointments. Failure to follow your doctor’s prescribed treatment plan can impact the amount of compensation you receive in a car accident settlement.
6. Contact Your Insurance Company
- Notify your insurance company right away, even if you think you are not at fault. Most insurance companies have policies that require you to contact them within a certain time frame after a car accident.
- Confirm the medical benefits of your insurance coverage.
- Be honest in conversations with your insurance company and the other driver’s insurance company. However, it is best to avoid admitting fault. Simply stick to the details of the collision.
7. Call a Denver, Colorado Auto Accident Lawyer
- There is a reason car accident victims on average receive 3.5x more for their insurance settlement when they have a personal injury lawyer working for them. That’s because an insurance company will not bully a reputable attorney. But, they can, and will, take advantage of someone who has never been through the injury claims process before. Experienced car wreck lawyers are not only proficient in the law but are also intimately familiar with the tricks and tactics they use to devalue a claim. The insurance company’s directive is to offer the least amount possible to settle and close a claim quickly, and the truth is, without an attorney, you are an easy target.
- Do not take on an insurance company alone. A lawyer who specializes in auto accidents can make a huge difference in the outcome of an insurance claim and what will be awarded to you.
Free Consultation with a Denver Car Accident Lawyer
SettleUp is the modern way to get the money you deserve for your car accident injury claim. Because we utilize technology, we offer our services on a 20% contingency fee – nearly half of what most TV auto collision lawyers charge. Those types of law firms rely on rooms full of claim handlers to do what we are able to accomplish with technology, allowing us to operate at a lower cost and pass the savings on to you.
The legal team at SettleUp has represented victims in every type of motor vehicle accident in Colorado. If you need an experienced car accident lawyer who not only cares about your case but can also expertly negotiate on your behalf, contact us for a complimentary consultation. Our auto collision attorneys help clients throughout the state of Colorado, including Denver, Aurora, Boulder, Lakewood, Pueblo, Fort Collins, and Colorado Springs.