The hours and days immediately after a car accident are a critical period for gathering information, preserving evidence and preparing a solid foundation for a car accident injury claim. You may be upset and not be thinking at your clearest immediately after an accident. If you have suffered an injury such as a concussion, you have difficulty focusing. It is important to know what to do after a car crash.
At Craig, Kelley & Faultless, LLC, our senior attorneys have more than 26 years of experience handling auto accident injury claims and wrongful death claims. Our attorneys are knowledgeable, highly rated and have recovered millions of dollars for accident victims just like you. Drawing upon our decades of experience, we have put together a checklist of steps to take if you have been involved in a vehicle accident in Indiana. Knowing what to do after a car accident and who to call for help can make the ordeal less stressful.
We are proud of what our former clients say about our efforts on their behalf. Review the testimonials of former clients. Then call Craig, Kelley & Faultless, LLC for a free consultation if you were injured by another motorist and have questions.
What to Do After a Car Crash
Even the most careful, law-abiding Indiana driver cannot prevent another motorist from causing a serious accident. A car crash can happen suddenly on the way to work or school or while you are running errands, leaving you injured, unable to think clearly and unsure what to do. It is important to remain calm after a car accident and follow these steps:
- Check immediately for any car accident injuries
- Request an ambulance if needed
- Report the accident to the police
- Exchange registration and get insurance information from others involved
- Do not discuss the accident with the other drivers or accept blame for the accident
- Identify witnesses to the accident and get their names and contact information
- Take photos of the accident scene and your injuries
- Notify your insurance company of the accident
- Do not accept a settlement from the other driver’s insurance without having a personal injury attorney review it
- Call the experienced car accident attorneys at Craig, Kelley & Faultless, LLC to review the situation
Checklist Of Things To Do After a Car Accident
Check for Injuries—Your first priority should be the health and safety of everyone involved in the accident. Assess whether anyone needs emergency medical treatment. If others are injured and you are capable of helping, you should call 911 and inform them how many ambulances are needed. Recognize that some people may be in shock and not realize that they need medical care. If in doubt about someone’s condition, summon an ambulance.
Shock is a life-threatening medical condition. Shock may be caused by the trauma of a car crash or blood loss. If an accident victim has shock, it means his or her organs are not receiving enough blood and oxygen. If you suspect someone in the crash is in shock, call 911 and ask for an ambulance.
Be sure everyone is in as safe a position as possible, while waiting for the ambulance to arrive.
If you do not require emergency medical treatment or don’t feel injured, you should still go to the doctor for an evaluation and inform the doctor that you were involved in a crash. You may have a concussion or other injury that is not immediately apparent.
Call the Police —Notify the police of the accident and remain at the scene until a law enforcement officer arrives. If the accident is minor, move the vehicles off the road out of active traffic lanes. If anyone was injured, do not move your vehicle or any debris on the road until the police arrive. Share your name, address, insurance company information and vehicle registration number with others involved.
Collect Information—If there are any witnesses at the scene and you are physically able, get the witnesses’ names, addresses and phone numbers. If is safe to do so, use your phone camera to take photos of the accident scene including your injuries, damage to the vehicles, skid marks, debris in the road and the position of the vehicles, if they haven’t been moved.
Report the Accident to Your Insurance Company—You should notify your insurance company of the accident and provide information about the others involved as soon as possible. Get a property damage quote from your insurance company. This is the amount that you can recover for your car or other damaged property. If the accident was a minor fender bender, you may be able to resolve it on your own. But if you were injured due to another driver’s carelessness, you should seek trusted legal guidance.
Contact an Indiana Car Accident Attorney—If you were injured due to the negligence of the other driver or have questions about filing an injury claim, you should contact an experienced accident attorney at Craig, Kelley & Faultless. Our attorneys will review the details of your accident and discuss you legal rights free of charge. If we assist you with an injury claim, we will move quickly to preserve evidence from the accident and determine the insurance policies available to provide compensation.
Do You Need to Call the Police?
You should notify the local police, sheriff’s department or Indiana State Police as soon as possible after a car accident. A police report documents who was involved and what happened. A police report will be required if you have to file an insurance claim after the accident. Answer the officer’s questions and provide the facts of what occurred, but do not acknowledge fault or cast blame on others. The officer will make a determination about what occurred and who was at fault.
Get the police officer’s name and badge number and ask when an accident report will be available. Get a copy of the police accident report and make sure that it is correct. If it is not correct, contact the police department and notify them of any errors.
What to Do If Someone is Injured in the Accident
You are required by Indiana law (IC 9-26-1-1.1) to provide reasonable assistance to those injured or trapped in a vehicle, as directed by law enforcement, a 911 operator or medical personnel.
How to Protect Yourself After a Car Accident
Do not discuss the accident with the other driver while waiting for the police to arrive or apologize for the accident.
Do not downplay your injuries to the other motorists. The rush of adrenaline after a crash can mask injuries. You may walk away from an accident feeling unhurt, but wake up very stiff and sore a day or two later.
Do not sign any document unless it is for the police or your own insurance company.
Contact an experienced Indianapolis car accident lawyer. The sooner you contact an experienced injury attorney, the better off you will be. The attorney can answer your questions and make sure you are protected from the other person’s insurance company.
What to Do If Involved in an Auto Accident with an Uninsured Driver
Indiana ranks number eight in the nation for the highest percentage of uninsured drivers, a disturbing statistic. One of every six motorists in Indiana is uninsured, according to a 2017 report by the Insurance Research Council. Indiana law requires all motorists to have at least minimum levels of liability insurance to pay for damages caused in an accident.
If you are hit by a driver who is uninsured, then you would turn to your own insurance company for compensation. You would file a claim against your uninsured motorist policy. If the driver who hit you was underinsured, you would file a claim against the at-fault driver up to the limits of his or her policy, and also seek compensation from your own UIM policy.
Every new Indiana auto liability policy includes UM/UIM coverage. The minimum liability limits are:
Bodily Injury: $25,000/$50,000
Property Damage: $25,000
Underinsured Motorist: Bodily Injury: $50,000
The coverage allows you to collect compensation from your own policy.
Schedule a Free Consultation with an Indiana Car Accident Attorney
At Craig Kelley & Faultless LLC, we use our experience to our clients’ advantage. Our law firm serves clients in Batesville, Indianapolis, Fort Wayne, Anderson, Muncie and Lafayette, Indiana. We do not receive any legal fee until we are successful in obtaining an insurance settlement or jury award for you. Contact us, let us review your case and discuss how we may help. We will gladly set up an appointment at a location convenient to you or meet with you at your home or hospital if your injuries limit your mobility.