Although being in a car accident on the I-35 can be alarming, taking the following steps may aid your recovery and help your chances of collecting damages from the at-fault driver.
- Pull your vehicle out of traffic lanes and over to the shoulder if operable.
- Call 9-1-1 to report the accident and request a copy of the police report.
- Report injuries to the responding officer and request immediate medical attention, even if you don’t think you need it.
- Exchange information with the other driver (e.g., driver’s license, phone numbers, insurance policy), but don’t admit fault while doing so.
- Take note of the damage to your vehicle (cell phone photos can help document this)
- Inform your insurance company to start the claims process.
- Contact a car accident lawyer.
Pull Your Vehicle Out of Traffic Lanes on I-35
If you physically can, you should pull your vehicle off the road’s shoulder to minimize the chances of a secondary accident. If you can’t move your car, turn on your hazard lights and try to contact the authorities. Do not exit the vehicle if you are in traffic lanes.
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Contact 9-1-1 as Soon as Possible
After pulling your car over safely, call 9-1-1 to report your accident to local authorities. When the responding officers arrive at the accident scene, they will investigate, talk to witnesses, and create an accident report.
This will become the official record of your accident. If necessary, a car accident lawyer could use information in the accident report to prove the other driver’s negligence caused your accident.
Seek Prompt Medical Attention
If you feel pain or physical discomfort immediately after a car accident, seek medical attention from emergency services (e.g., ambulance). Advise the responding paramedic and police officer of your symptoms so they can note it in their report(s).
Even if you “feel fine” after the accident, seeking medical attention may be a good idea. There have been many cases where car accident victims leave the scene feeling OK but experience accident-related pain when the adrenaline wears off. It’s also a good idea to keep receipts for any bills for the medical attention you receive (e.g., X-rays, ambulance costs, medication).
Exchange Contact Information With the Other Driver
Without admitting fault, exchange the following information with the other driver (or drivers) in your accident:
- Driver’s license numbers
- Insurance policy numbers
- Vehicle information (e.g., year, make, model, license plate numbers)
- Contact information.
It is important not to admit fault. The vehicle code is complex, and you may not have caused the accident. However, admitting fault to the other driver at the accident scene could negatively affect your chances of receiving for your damages.
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Take Note of the Damage to Your Vehicle
Do as much as you can to document the damage to your vehicle and any personal property damaged in the accident. Most modern cell phones take high-resolution photos and videos. Using this capability to document the damage to your car (and, if possible, the other vehicle(s) involved), is an important step.
Report the Accident to Your Insurance Company
Report the accident to your insurance company as soon as possible. Almost all policies have language requiring you to do this, but even if yours doesn’t, you must promptly report any accidents to your insurer. However, once you do that, be careful not to accept or sign any compensation offers from your insurer or the at-fault driver’s insurance carrier. That document may have language waiving your right to demand additional compensation.
Contact Us For Help From a Car Accident Lawyer After a Crash on I-35
We understand you want to move on after a car accident and get your life back on track as soon as possible. With that said, car accident cases can cause significant damage that can affect you negatively for years to come. As an accident victim, you will only get one chance to demand damages. Because of that, the priority should be on making sure your case is handled correctly instead of quickly.
This is why we encourage you to reach out to a personal injury attorney for help. Your insurance company, and the other driver’s insurance company, will be defending their interests. A car accident attorney from Clay Jenkins & Associates can defend your interests and fight for the compensation you deserve. Call us today for a free case consultation. Our attorneys want to make a difference in your life after an accident.