The first step necessary for dealing with the aftermath of a side-impact collision is seeking a medical examination or treatment by a qualified physician. Of course, you should go to the emergency room if you have any obvious injuries, but immediately seeing your primary care doctor is an acceptable alternative. Even if you feel fine, side impacts often cause hidden, delayed, or internal injuries that can’t be detected immediately without getting a medical exam by an expert.
Steps to Take After a Side-impact Collision
According to information published by legal and insurance experts, side impacts raise questions about liability, making it difficult for law enforcement insurance companies to determine fault. The steps to take after a t-bone include seeking medical attention and protecting your rights with the following actions.
1. Get Medical Attention
You not only need medical attention but also have the responsibility to call for medical attention for other injured parties if you’re physically capable.
2. Report the Crime to Indianapolis Authorities
Reporting the accident is required by law, and failure to do so could compromise any compensation claims. You should report the accident to law enforcement and your insurance company, but you should wait for privacy to talk to your insurance agent. Try to ensure that law enforcement officers make a police report of the accident.
Police reports confirm an accident – even a relatively minor fender-bender – which could nevertheless result in hidden injuries. The report will also cover the police interpretation of events, which might be obvious if one driver runs a red light and crashes into another vehicle moving through the intersection legally. However, other situations depend on the officer’s interpretation when both drivers claim they had the right-of-way.
Request a copy of the police report for your records.
3. Make Notes of the Accident
If not injured, you should take notes to bolster your memory of events. For example, note the weather, road conditions, and other relevant factors like a harried driver trying to discipline kids while driving or suspicion of drug or alcohol use. You should also get the other driver’s contact information and vehicle details.
It’s conceivable that the other driver might try giving false information and, if necessary, get officer assistance in confirming the driver’s license and registration details. You should also get contact information for any accident witnesses and what they observed. For example, observers might have noticed that passengers of the other vehicle failed to use seat belts.
The failure to use safety belts results in more severe injuries from side-impact collisions. That places some responsibility for injuries on the adult passengers who didn’t follow Indiana law that requires all adults over the age of 16 to wear seatbelts while the car is in motion.
4. Gather Confirming Evidence
Taking photos of the accident scene, your vehicle damage, and damage to the other vehicle comes highly recommended. You might take photos of the other car’s tag as well. If your attorney agrees, you can offer to share the photos with your insurance company to verify your damages claim.
5. Avoid Speaking with the Other Driver’s Insurance Company
Don’t speak with other insurance companies other than your own. You should even avoid making a recorded statement with your insurance company. Insurance adjusters look for any unusual circumstance that they can use to deny or minimize a claim payout.
6. Hire an Attorney
You should contact an Indianapolis car accident lawyer as soon as possible after a side-impact collision. Bring all your gathered evidence to your first consultation.
Injuries to Look for After a T-Bone Collision
According to scientific research, elderly passengers and passengers on the struck side of a vehicle are prone to greater injuries, including hard-to-detect vehicle injuries like whiplash, sprains, and strains, psychological issues like post-traumatic stress disorder, and other soft tissue damages.
If you are involved in a car accident, there are several things you should do immediately. Firstly, get immediate medical help. Then, call your lawyer to understand your rights and even file a claim against the at-fault party. Finally, talk to the insurers only in the presence of your attorney, and make sure you document everything related to the accident, from witnesses’ contact details to your car’s damages and injuries.