What should you do following an automobile accident?

What can you do after a car accident or motorcycle to improve your claim for damages? Plenty. We call it the “Golden Hour”—that first hour after a collision or crash when evidence is fresh and still available.

Below is a list of suggestions to follow after an Indiana accident, whether it involved a serious injury or only property damage.

Safety First

  • Summon emergency personnel for any injured persons
  • Render first aid (Indiana’s Good Samaritan law protects you from liability)
  • Put out flares or markers to alert other drivers

Preserve Evidence

  • Calm yourself, take a breath, and then take charge.
  • Don’t move the vehicles unless they are causing a traffic hazard.
  • Don’t clean up debris—it’s valuable evidence.
  • Call an Indianapolis personal injury lawyer at the earliest opportunity. Prompt investigation by a professional is the best way to preserve evidence.
  • Exchange information with the other driver (license, insurance, name, address, phone number). Record their plate number and ask whether they own the vehicle.
  • Get contact information of any witnesses. (Don’t try to take statements.)
  • Take photos if possible. Document damage from several angles and photograph your injuries.

Eyes Open, Mouth Closed

  • Make note of the scene: vehicles involved, road conditions or hazards, the position of vehicles, and what happened. Diagram the accident.
  • Do not admit to fault! Not to a police officer, the other driver, witnesses, even your passengers! Acknowledging your own negligence can come back to haunt you.

Reporting the Accident

  • Cooperate with police, but don’t volunteer information that may incriminate you or damage your personal injury claim.
  • Report the Indiana vehicle accident to your insurance agent, but don’t acknowledge fault before talking to an Indianapolis car accident attorney.

Later On

  • Bruises appear. Shock wears off and pains flare up. Make note of your symptoms in detail and photograph injuries again.
  • See a doctor, even if you think your injuries are minor. Some injuries (neck injury, back injury, fractures) are not apparent until well after the accident. You need to show that they were accident-related to recover damages.

It’s not always feasible to contact an Indiana automobile accident attorney immediately after a crash. As soon as possible, you need to discuss legal issues—statute of limitations to file claims, available insurance coverage, and your own comparative negligence.

Contact Sevenish Law Firm office for a free consultation and prompt investigation. Call our hotline toll-free, statewide, 24 hours a day at 800.278.9200.