Every 13 minutes, someone in Alabama is injured in a car accident. And with a lot of travelers on the road this week for the 4th of July, the typical accident rate is bound to increase. Car accidents are one of the most common reasons that people go to court. They can be unnerving and you can be left unsure of what to do next. Before hitting the road this week, take a look at this list on what to do so that if you are in a car accident, you will know what steps to take if your medical condition allows:

1. Stay calm and call 911

Make sure everyone is safe; if anyone is injured call 911 right away. If no one is in need of medical attention, you will need to call 911 in order to have a police officer come and file a report. This is an important step in documenting the event for insurance and legal purposes. In order to file a claim against the other driver, a police report documenting the accident will need to be filed. Hold onto the police report information the officer gives you, this will be important.

2. Check for any damage

Whether it was a small fender-bender or a serious car wreck, you will need to check for any damage to your car. You should also check for damage to any other vehicles involved.

3. Take pictures

Memory is a fickle thing, so in order to properly document the damage of your vehicle and any other vehicles involved, take pictures of the damage to all vehicles. Take pictures of the license plates and the scene as well so that you don’t forget any vital information.

4. Take notes

Pictures are worth a thousand words but sometimes they won’t capture everything. Take notes of the surrounding area and where you are. Record the information of what happened and what the conditions were while the details are fresh in your mind. Write down the other license plate numbers and descriptions of the cars involved.

5. Get information

If people witnessed what happened and stop to help you, get information from them. Get the names and contact information of everyone who witnessed the accident.

6. Contact your insurance company

After you’ve left the scene and received medical attention, if necessary, contact your insurance company and let them know about the wreck. Let them know that the wreck was not your fault and give them the information from the police report.

7. Keep track of anything you spend

Keep a meticulous record of the money you’ve spent out-of-pocket as a result of the wreck. These are expenses such as car repairs, medical bills, and literally anything you had to spend money on as a direct result of the crash. Also keep track of any work you had to miss because of your accident.

8. Do not agree automatically to anything insurance companies tell you

In the event of a car wreck, the other person’s insurance company might contact you the damages. You do not have to accept their first offer for damages. Insurance adjusters are trained to give you the lowest offer possible and their offers may not be enough to properly compensate you. You also do not have to talk to the insurance adjusters alone. You can hire an attorney to speak with them for you in order to protect your rights.

9. Contact your lawyer

If you or a loved one are involved in a wreck and need a personal injury attorney, call us at Gathings Law. We have decades of experience handling personal injury cases and are ready to put our expertise to work for you.