What can you do immediately after a car accident and in the days and weeks following your crash injuries that will really make a difference in your long term recovery?

Here’s what we recommend:

  1. Call the police.
  2. Check on passengers.
  3. If you are able to do so, get out of the way of traffic. If you can’t move yourself or your vehicle, then try to put your flashers and headlights on so that other vehicles see you.
  4. Call a relative or friend to let him or her know what happened.
  5. Take pictures of the accident scene.
  6. Write down the names and contact information for all of the other drivers and witnesses to the crash. This includes license and insurance information.
  7. Write down all of the actions and statements of other parties to the accident.
  8. Do not make any statements about fault or offer any opinions at the accident scene.
  9. Accept medical help.
  10. Report the accident to your insurance company.
  11. Do not talk to any insurance adjusters about what happened.
  12. Contact your employer. Do not commit to a date by which you will be back to work. Instead, share your doctor’s opinion with your employer and let your employer know that you will be in touch after your next doctor’s appointment.
  13. Request a copy of the police report.
  14. Keep documentation of all expenses.
  15. Keep documentation of all of your lost wages and other income.
  16. Follow your doctor’s orders.
  17. Contact a personal injury lawyer.
  18. Do not get your car fixed without talking to your lawyer.
  19. Do not speak with attorneys who do not represent you.

Before you do anything else, please print out this article. If you have already been in an accident then please use it as a checklist, and if you haven’t recently been hurt in a crash then please store it in the glove compartment of your car so that you have it readily available should you ever need it.

Jason F. Abraham
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Helping car accident and personal injury victims throughout Wisconsin, Illinois and Iowa since 1993.