Car accidents happen suddenly. One minute you’re driving down the road, the next, you’re abruptly stopped, and your brain is trying to catch up and process what just happened. At Maples, Nix and Diesselhorst, we understand that feeling, and we’re dedicated to helping you understand your rights, what steps to take next, and how to proceed following a wreck.
Over six million car accidents occur in the United States annually, and about 200 car accidents happen in Oklahoma daily. Most accidents do not result in personal injuries, but one in three do. Whether your wreck in Oklahoma does or does not result in an injury, you should know what to do after a car accident.
After your car wreck, your mind might be spinning. Use this list of what to do and what not to do after a car accident. Bookmark this blog on your phone or send it to the other drivers in your household so it’s handy in case of an accident.
10 Things to Do After a Car Accident in Oklahoma
- Assess yourself and the situation for injuries – Take a breath, try to calm your adrenaline, and look around. Are you injured? Is anyone in your vehicle injured? Do you see anyone who appears injured in another car or on the road? Quickly looking around to collect this information will help you inform emergency services.
- Call 911 – Whether your accident resulted in a severe injury or not, it is essential to call the police or emergency services. Often, a police report will be required by your insurance company, and it is helpful to have a police presence to protect you and the other vehicle(s) while you are in the roadway.
- Protect the scene – Turn off your engine, turn on your emergency lights to warn other drivers, and wait for help. Unless you are obstructing traffic and instructed to move your car by the police, keep your vehicle where it is. It may not be safe for you to drive the car, and taking photos of your vehicle where the accident occurred may be helpful.
- Exchange insurance information with the other driver(s) – Following the accident, collect the other drivers’ names, phone numbers, license plate numbers, and insurance information. Jot down the make, model, and color of their cars too. The police will also collect this information, but it is helpful for your records and insurance company if you have this information.
- Take photos and videos – Using your phone camera, capture photos and videos of your car and the other vehicles involved in the wreck. Make sure you capture images of the damage to all vehicles as well as the environment of the accident. Road conditions (like icy, wet, or other dangerous road conditions), skid marks, signs, and other damages should all be photographed.
- Collect witness information – If a witness stops to help you following the car accident, collect their name and contact information.
- Seek medical attention – Even if you feel well immediately following the accident, you should see a doctor. Some injuries resulting from car accidents may not become symptomatic until a few days, weeks, or months following the wreck. Injuries like whiplash, latent brain, jaw, or back injuries can be overlooked. Talking with your provider about potential injuries within the first day or two after an accident can provide insight and peace of mind.
- Report the accident to your insurance – Soon after your car accident, you need to contact your insurance company. Even if you are at fault or there are minimal damages, they likely require notice of accidents.
- Take notes and keep records – Throughout the experience, you need to take note of everything that occurs. If the other party admits fault, have them write a note and sign it for you. If you receive information from the police officer, take note. Make a note of the names of the officers who are at the scene. Additionally, keep records of all the medical bills, summaries of care, and any out-of-pocket expenses you incur as a result of the accident.
- Talk to an attorney and protect your rights – If you think your situation qualifies as a personal injury case or are questioning whether it is, you should call an attorney. The earlier you call our Auto Accident team, the easier it will be for you to focus on healing and recovering from the accident.
5 Things to NOT Do After a Car Accident in Oklahoma
- Do not leave the scene – It may seem obvious, but if you are in an accident, you must stay at the location and cooperate with the other involved parties and the police. If you don’t, you may be charged with a crime.
- Do not admit fault – Whatever you do, do not admit fault if you are involved in an accident. If anyone asks you to admit fault or take another action that implies you are at fault, respectfully decline. Simply provide factual information to the police.
- Do not provide recorded or signed statements – Before providing a statement to an insurance adjuster, consult with your attorney. The other parties’ insurance companies may ask you to record a statement or sign a document. These actions may have unintended consequences, like releasing personal information and records.
- Do not post about your accident on social media – If it’s on the internet, it’s forever. After a traffic accident, you may be tempted to post comments, photos, or updates to your Facebook account or other social media profiles. Attorneys and insurance companies will research you and could use this information against you in their case. It’s best to avoid posting about the accident specifically; in some cases, your attorney may ask you to avoid social media throughout the case.
- Do not believe you have to navigate this alone – The Maples, Nix and Diesselhorst team is passionate about being your partner throughout your personal injury case. If you have concerns or questions, we’re ready to help. We’re experienced attorneys with the results to back it up, but we also care deeply about your healing and working hard to secure the best outcome for you and your family. Oklahoma families trust our team after car accidents because of our compassion and expertise.
Work With The Best Oklahoma Car Accident Attorneys
Accidents happen; when they do, you should have an attorney to support, guide, and counsel you. If you or your loved one has been the victim of injury or death due to an auto accident, you may be entitled to compensation, and you shouldn’t settle without talking to an expert who can help. Our team leads with compassion and proven experience. Contact us today for a free consultation.