Steps to take after a car accident

A car accident can be more than a little inconvenient. Those who are fortunate enough to avoid injury, however, can sometimes find the aftermath of the incident itself less than relaxing. Given the legal and financial peril that is attached to every collision, regardless of the actual damage involved, it is important every driver know what to do following a car accident, and they should start by calling a Metairie auto accident lawyer.

Safety First

Anyone injured at the scene should be cared for. If you are able, administer first aid. Make certain nobody is in danger from fire, unbalanced vehicles, traffic or the surrounding terrain. For all but the most mundane accidents, contact emergency first responders immediately. EMTs are trained to evaluate injuries and provide immediate treatment.

Secure Your Vehicle

To the maximum extent practical, turn off your engine, set the brake, lock your car, lock your trunk and roll up your windows. This is important for several reasons, not the least of which is accident scenes are often the last place anyone would expect to be burglarized. But securing your vehicle is an even higher priority than that.

Consent to No Search

Under no circumstances should you authorize a search of your vehicle. Even a personal injury attorney Metairie will tell you to wait to speak with counsel.

The reason you lock your car is so if the police perform an illegal search, they will need to physically break in to the vehicle to do it. You are under no obligation to consent to a search, nor are you under any obligation to assist the police in performing one.

Remain Silent

You should avoid speaking to the police as well until you have retained legal counsel. Every vehicle accident carries with it the potential for legal liability. Some accidents may imply criminal liability as well. Until you have had an opportunity to evaluate the situation with competent legal counsel, you should assert your right to remain silent.

This goes for your insurance company as well. Your insurer will be looking for any opportunity to deny coverage. Have your attorney report the accident to them and answer no questions from your insurance company, verbally or in writing, without your attorney’s knowledge and approval. This preserves your ability to obtain the settlement you deserve.

As always, if you are in an accident you should seek the counsel of a qualified attorney like Keating Law Firm LLC at your earliest convenience.