People doing paperwork after a car accident.

3 Critical Steps to Take Right After a Car Accident

Being involved in a car accident can be a jarring experience, and it’s not always clear what steps you should take immediately after the incident. If you find yourself in such a situation in Oklahoma City, the first thing to do is to ensure your safety and the safety of others. Move to a safe area away from traffic if possible, and then check yourself and others for any injuries. Call 911 for medical help if needed, and then exchange insurance information with the other driver. It’s also wise to take pictures of the scene and gather contact information from any witnesses, as these can be valuable when filing an insurance claim.

If you’re feeling overwhelmed after being involved in a car accident, remember that OKC Injury Lawyers are here to help. Our team focuses on assisting accident victims through every step of the post-accident process. From investigating the details of the accident to determining liability and negotiating with insurance companies for a fair settlement, we’ve got your back. We understand the intricacies of Oklahoma’s car accident laws and will guide you through the process, ensuring that you’re fully taken care of. Don’t hesitate to call us at 405-906-4051 for a free consultation with legal advice and support. Our goal is to make sure you receive the compensation you deserve, while you focus on your recovery.

3 Immediate Actions at the Accident Scene

A car accident, sometimes referred to as a car crash, is an unsettling experience. It’s vital to keep your cool and concentrate on the urgent steps that need to be taken. Your safety and the well-being of all parties involved should be your top priorities. Stopping your vehicle in a manner that doesn’t pose additional risks to traffic helps avoid further accidents.

Adhere to Oklahoma law by offering help to anyone in need and reporting any car accident promptly to the police, especially if it results in injury or death.

1. Secure Your Surroundings

The aftermath of a car accident can be confusing and disordered. It’s important to stay calm and make sure the area is safe. If the vehicles involved are operational and there are no serious injuries, move them to the side of the road out of the way of traffic. This action helps prevent further accidents and ensures safety for all parties involved.

Once the vehicles are in a safe location, if you don’t have flares or reflective warning triangles, turn on your vehicle’s hazard lights to alert other drivers and prevent additional collisions. These actions alert other drivers and prevent additional collisions.

2. Check for Injuries and Call for Help

In a car accident, it’s easy to overlook injuries because of the rush of adrenaline. Make sure to check for injuries and give first aid if necessary. Some injuries may not manifest immediately, making it all the more important to seek medical attention as soon as possible.

Next, call 911. This call brings both medical and law enforcement assistance to the accident scene. Should it turn out that medical personnel aren’t needed, they will simply ensure that everyone is indeed safe and then clear the scene, allowing law enforcement to proceed with their report.

The presence of law enforcement officers ensures that an official report of the accident is made, which is critical for your car accident claim. Prompt engagement of emergency services ensures the proper care and documentation of the incident.

3. Remain at the Scene

Do not leave the scene of the accident early. According to Oklahoma law, drivers are required to stay at the scene right after an accident causing death, injury, or property damage. This includes:

  • Assisting any injured parties
  • Calling for police assistance
  • Exchanging necessary information with all parties involved
  • Cooperating with law enforcement and providing any requested documents or statements

It is important to fulfill these obligations to ensure all parties’ safety and well-being and comply with the law.

Leaving the scene of a car accident or not reporting the accident in Oklahoma is a criminal offense in some situations and may result in the forfeiture of your right to pursue compensation for damages.

Documentation is Key

Keeping precise records is a vital part of any car accident claim. Here are some essential steps to follow:

  1. Gather the contact details of all drivers involved in the accident.
  2. Take photos of the accident scene and vehicle damage.
  3. Collect witness statements.
  4. Keep track of any medical treatment you receive.
  5. Document any expenses related to the accident, such as vehicle repairs or medical bills.

Meticulous record-keeping of all documents related to the accident can make a difference in your claim, supporting your case and ensuring you obtain the compensation you deserve.

Gather Information from Other Drivers

Once everyone’s safety is confirmed, proceed to share information with the other driver involved in the accident. This process includes exchanging insurance information, which is vital for initiating an insurance claim. Additionally, collect the other driver’s full name, contact details, driver’s license number, and vehicle registration information. It is also important to note the make, model, and color of the other vehicle(s) involved, as well as the license plate number and the exact location of the accident.

Be cautious during this interaction and avoid statements that could be interpreted as admitting fault, such as “I didn’t see you,” “I’m sorry,” or “I was distracted.” The determination of negligence will be made later by the insurance adjuster after a thorough investigation.

Take Photographic Evidence

Photographs serve as strong evidence to bolster your claim. Make a point of capturing images of the accident scene promptly, ideally before road crews clear the area. Ensure your images are time-stamped and capture:

  • All cars involved
  • Vehicle damage
  • Skid marks
  • Debris
  • The entire scene
  • Any weather conditions that contributed to the accident

Collect Witness Statements

Witness statements can provide valuable insights during the claim process. If there were any witnesses at the scene of the accident, approach them for their contact information and ask if they would be willing to provide a statement about what they saw. It’s helpful to get a brief account of their observation at the time, as their perspective could be crucial in piecing together the events leading up to the accident.

These observations could become crucial evidence, particularly when the witness has no personal or financial interest in the outcome of the claim, ensuring an unbiased account of the events.

Seeking Immediate Medical Attention

Despite feeling okay post-accident, you should not neglect a medical assessment. Adrenaline and endorphins can mask injury symptoms, making it crucial to seek medical attention promptly, even if no injuries are apparent. Certain injuries, like neck pain, headaches, and cognitive issues, may appear delayed and can develop into long-term disabilities. This is why a comprehensive medical evaluation is essential, ideally at a hospital or clinic that specializes in accident-related injuries. These specialized medical providers are not only equipped to diagnose and treat your injuries effectively, but they also understand the importance of thorough documentation that is beneficial for insurance claims. By choosing the right medical provider, you ensure that all injuries are accounted for and properly recorded, which is a critical aspect of substantiating your claim.

Prompt medical attention also serves another purpose – it provides documentation of the injuries sustained and helps support any future claims. Medical records are a critical component in substantiating injury claims, and accurate records of medical treatment, including all medical bills and expense receipts, are essential for insurance claims and should be meticulously saved.

Contacting Your Insurance Company

You should inform your insurance company about the accident quickly, providing them with comprehensive details. This includes the date and time of the accident, the location where it occurred, a description of how the accident happened, the make and model of the vehicles involved, the extent of the damage to your vehicle, and any injuries sustained by you or your passengers. Also, share the contact and insurance information of the other driver, the names and contact details of any witnesses, and the police report number if one was filed. This action is crucial, regardless of who is at fault, to ensure your right to protection is preserved.

If you’re dealing with an uninsured driver, you’ll need to confirm your uninsured motorists’ coverage.

Report the Incident Without Admitting Fault

When reporting the incident to your insurance company, it’s crucial to stick to the facts of the accident without implying your responsibility for the crash. Refrain from making any statements that suggest fault, like “I could have avoided them” or “I was driving a bit fast.” Also, avoid speculating about the cause of the accident or discussing details that you’re not sure about, such as “Maybe I wasn’t paying attention” or “I think the other driver was speeding.” These types of comments can be misconstrued as an admission of guilt. It’s essential to provide a clear and factual account without making any admissions or speculations that could adversely affect your claim.

Avoiding Common Post-Accident Mistakes

Avoiding mistakes after an accident is important for your claim. These include:

  • Accepting a settlement offer or signing a release before consulting a lawyer
  • Giving recorded statements to insurance adjusters or signing any documents presented by them until you receive legal advice
  • Ensuring full transparency with your attorney regarding all details of the accident

Resist Settling Too Quickly

It can be tempting to accept the first settlement offer and move on. However, accepting the first offer may not be in your best interest. Taking time to build your case can lead to fairer compensation that accurately reflects the extent of your damages. OKC Injury Lawyers can assist by thoroughly evaluating the full impact of your accident, including current and future medical expenses, lost wages, and pain and suffering, to ensure that any settlement offer adequately compensates for our losses. Our experience allows us to effectively communicate the value of your claim to the insurance company, increasing the likelihood of a more favorable outcome.

Avoid Social Media Disclosures

In the digital age, it’s easy to overshare on social media. However, discussing accident details or injuries on social media platforms can negatively impact your legal case. For example, posting a photo of yourself hiking when you’ve claimed a leg injury can be used against you by insurance companies, potentially jeopardizing your claim.

Oklahoma’s Car Accident Laws

Oklahoma car accident laws are vital for anyone involved in a traffic incident. Oklahoma’s legal framework dictates a two-year statute of limitations for filing a personal injury lawsuit, which starts from the date of the car accident. This period is critical as it defines the window in which you can seek legal recourse for any injuries or damages sustained. Additionally, Oklahoma has specific requirements for auto insurance that drivers must adhere to.

In the event of receiving a traffic ticket following an accident, it’s important to know that simply accepting the ticket can have repercussions on any civil claims. Instead, challenging the ticket may be a more strategic move. OKC Injury Lawyers are equipped to provide guidance and support in these matters. We can help you understand the nuances of the law, assist in challenging traffic tickets when necessary, and ensure that you meet critical deadlines, such as the statute of limitations, to protect your rights and interests.

Legal Guidance After an Auto Accident

Guidance from an experienced personal injury lawyer can be highly beneficial for car accident victims. A car accident lawyer from OKC Injury Lawyers guides you from the beginning to the end of the case, managing legal complexities and ensuring you receive the compensation you deserve. It’s crucial to have an Oklahoma car accident injury attorney to help with legal action and recovery of compensation.

Navigate Insurance Negotiations

Dealing with insurance companies can be tricky. At OKC Injury Lawyers, we understand the strategies insurance adjusters use and are skilled in negotiating with them. We counter low settlement offers, demanding justifications to support your claim. Our experienced legal professionals guide whether to accept an initial settlement offer or to present a counteroffer, considering the long-term impact of injuries and emotional distress.

In addition to the financial aspects, we highlight the emotional points, such as pain and suffering or challenges in day-to-day responsibilities due to injuries, which can be influential in settlement negotiations.

Pursue Compensation for Damages

Pursuing compensation for damages involves a meticulous process. At OKC Injury Lawyers, we help establish the at-fault driver’s negligence and link it to the financial losses you’ve suffered. We ensure that you receive compensation that reflects the true extent of your losses.

Upon reaching a fair settlement, we ensure the agreement is documented in writing, specifying the settlement amount and which injuries or damages are included.

How OKC Injury Lawyers Can Help You

We at OKC Injury Lawyers offer legal aid to guide you through the claims process and ensure you get just compensation. Our services include:

  • Thoroughly investigating car accidents
  • Determining legal liability
  • Identifying all applicable insurance policies
  • Assisting in obtaining and reviewing medical records to establish the extent of injuries and prognosis for recovery

We work with economic and vocational consultants to gauge future medical needs and income loss due to diminished earning capacity. Our lawyers manage the process of:

  • Filing claims
  • Negotiating for full settlements with insurance companies
  • Filing lawsuits when necessary
  • Providing strategic advice to ensure you do not accept lowball offers

If your claim cannot be settled outside of court, we are prepared to present a strong case in court. Our experience in handling Oklahoma car accident cases ensures that our clients receive the dedicated support they need for legal action and recovery of compensation.

Schedule a Free Initial Consultation

We at OKC Injury Lawyers provide a complimentary initial consultation, giving you the opportunity to:

  • Discuss your claim
  • Understand potential compensation
  • Gauge our experience and approach
  • Ask questions about the projected timeline and potential legal expenses

This consultation is your opportunity to gather information and make an informed decision about your case, without any financial commitment.

And remember, at OKC Injury Lawyers, you’re not required to pay any attorney fees unless we obtain compensation on your behalf. If you need legal assistance or have any questions, don’t wait — call us now at 405-906-4051, and let’s discuss how we can help you secure the compensation you deserve.

Frequently Asked Questions

Immediately following a car accident in Oklahoma City, your first step should be to ensure your safety and that of others by moving to a secure location. Next, assess for any injuries among yourself and other involved parties, and dial 911 for emergency services if necessary. It’s also essential to exchange insurance information with the other driver, document the scene with photographs, notify your insurance provider of the incident, and seek medical attention without delay to address potential injuries that may not be immediately apparent.

Documenting the accident scene provides a factual basis for your insurance claim and can be crucial in legal proceedings. Detailed photographs of the vehicles, road conditions, and any visible injuries, along with witness statements, create an evidence trail that helps establish the events leading to the accident. This careful documentation can greatly influence the resolution of your claim, potentially leading to a more favorable outcome.

After a car accident, OKC Injury Lawyers can offer you support by thoroughly investigating the incident to establish liability, assisting in the collection of evidence, and engaging with insurance companies on your behalf. Our legal team will advocate for your rights, aiming to secure the full compensation you are entitled to for damages and injuries sustained. Additionally, should your case go to court, we are prepared to provide robust legal representation to achieve the best possible result for you.

After experiencing a car accident, one of the key mistakes to avoid is accepting a settlement offer too hastily without understanding the full extent of your damages and future medical needs. Another pitfall is discussing the specifics of the accident or your injuries on social media platforms, as insurance companies may use this information against you. Lastly, it’s essential to be completely open and honest with your attorney about every detail of the accident to ensure they can build the strongest case on your behalf.

In the state of Oklahoma, you are given a two-year window starting from the date of the car accident to initiate a personal injury lawsuit. This statute of limitations is crucial because if you fail to file within this period, you may be permanently barred from seeking compensation for your injuries. It is important to consult with an attorney as soon as possible to ensure that all legal actions are taken within the required timeframe.