5 Things To Do When You’ve Been Involved in a Vehicle Accident

Nearly 1.3 million people die - globally - in road accidents each year; that’s over 3,000 deaths per day, and over 20 million people are injured or disabled - 2.3 million of those injuries occurred in the US alone. Statistically speaking, you have a high likelihood of being in a car accident at some point in your lifetime (and some probability suggests that figure is 3-4 non-fatal accidents per lifespan - about once every 17.9 years).

Most people like to think it won’t happen to them, but what do you do if you are in a car accident? Do you know the steps you should take?

If you’ve been involved in a motor vehicle accident, here are five things you should do:

1. Seek Medical Assistance

Most people with the shock of such an event try and minimize the trauma by denying harm. Many often just want to get home, and process the event, but - as uncomfortable as it may be to seek immediate medical assistance - it’s necessary to go to the hospital first to get checked over. It’s best to be figuratively safe rather than sorry. Always seek medical help even if you do not feel that you need it. You could have bulging discs, pinched nerves, internal bleeding, swelling, or any number of unseen complications.

Symptoms of serious injury aren’t always immediately apparent. Signs of personal injury can include pain, numbness, and/or dizziness, and can occur days or even weeks later. Furthermore, the longer you allow time to pass after your accident, the more difficult it is to prove injuries were sustained as a result of the car crash.

For children, always have your child examined by a medical practitioner; young children cannot always verbalize their feelings. Replace your child’s car or booster seat as an accident will make it ineffective. For pregnant women, seek immediate care as accidents can result in miscarriage, preterm labor, and placental abruption.

After visiting the hospital, or your personal doctor, make sure you document all medical expenses - immediate and ongoing - as potential evidence for your car insurance company or your personal injury attorney (if you feel you need one).

2. Take Photos If Health Permits

Take photos of your health insurance card, and any other documentation you need to ensure you are able to get the best medical care for any injuries sustained. You will also want to photograph the scene of the accident with a camera or smartphone. Take photos and/or videos of everything, and make copies of all relevant documentation. It’s better to take photos/videos of more than you need than less. In a personal injury suit, the burden is on you to prove the elements of your case: damage, liability, and responsibility of involved parties. Collect all the evidence you can - even if it seems inconsequential or trivial - such as property damage, the scene of the accident, photos and/or videos of any injuries too. Preserve all evidence in a file in safe keeping as memories fade in time, and evidence can be misplaced.

3. Make No Admissions of Fault

Only speak to the other party involved to gather information. Do not make any admissions of fault. Always consult with your personal injury attorney for any advice before speaking. Report your accident immediately to your insurance company, and call the police if appropriate. You must report your accident in a timely manner.

Obtain names, phone number, addresses, and details from the other party involved and any witnesses such as friends, neighbors, ambulance drives, and any healthcare providers. Also, gather insurance details from the other party or parties involved.

4. Do Not Speak to the Other Person’s Insurance Company

Once you’ve gathered insurance details, speak with your personal injury attorney. Do not give any written statements or recorded interviews to your insurance carrier or the other person’s insurance company unless advised to do so by your attorney. Many insurance adjusters try to obtain statements for their records but you are not required to provide any information at all despite what they tell you. Simply say that your legal representative will be in touch, and you are not available to speak at this time.

Give copies of the accident details - names, addresses, phone numbers of witnesses - to the investigating officer, your attorney, and keep records for yourself. Equally, do not post any messages on social media as insurance companies now scour social media for any inconsistencies, which can be used against you in a case.

5. Call and Speak to a Lawyer Immediately

After you have sought medical care, make sure if you have been seriously injured, that you contact a personal injury lawyer immediately. Whether you are at fault or not, an experienced personal injury attorney can protect you, and advise you on the best course of action to take.


Whether it’s your first auto accident or you fifth, make sure you follow these five steps to keep you protected. But - most of all - try and be cautious and alert on the road to reduce your chances of being in a traffic accident because the next accident could be your last!

By Coxwell & Associates, PLLC, Mississippi
Law Firm Website: www.coxwelllaw.com

ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Merrida Coxwell
Merrida Coxwell is a Managing Partner At Coxwell & Associates PLLC. He is dedicated to helping his clients receive the best legal representation in Mississippi.

Copyright Coxwell & Associates, PLLC

Disclaimer: Every effort has been made to ensure the accuracy of this publication at the time it was written. It is not intended to provide legal advice or suggest a guaranteed outcome as individual situations will differ and the law may have changed since publication. Readers considering legal action should consult with an experienced lawyer to understand current laws and.how they may affect a case. For specific technical or legal advice on the information provided and related topics, please contact the author.

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