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A UTAH LAWYER ON THE 9 MOST IMPORTANT THINGS TO DO AFTER AN AUTO ACCIDENT.

Written by

On July 30, 2022
Salt Lake's Best Accident Attorney

In an instant, a car accident can change your life forever. None of us plan on getting in one, but sooner or later most of us do. Car accidents are often traumatic, leaving many victims in shock and with serious injuries. And accident scenes are often chaotic, hectic, and stressful. As a result, it is not surprising that people often fail to respond optimally when involved in a car accident.

To help better prepare and protect you, the team at Gosdis Law has prepared the following important steps to take after a car accident in Utah.

make sure everyone in your vehicle is ok.

First, and most importantly, check on everyone in your car to determine if anyone has sustained injuries. If so, call 911 immediately to request an ambulance. Do not worry about the cost of the ambulance. It should be covered under your auto policy and will be added to your claim for damages at the conclusion of the case.

CALL THE POLICE, EVEN FOR A SMALL ACCIDENT.

Always call the police. Always. Even if it does not look like anyone was injured, and even if you think the property damage is relatively minor, you still need to call the police so they can prepare a report. Some police agencies will not prepare a report if there are no injuries or if they think the property damage is minor, so make sure to communicate your injuries to the responding officer, even if you think they are relatively minor (i.e., headache, shock, anxiety).

BE CAREFUL ABOUT WHAT YOU SAY AT THE ACCIDENT SCENE.

In the moments following an accident, watch what you say to other parties involved in the accident, witnesses, emergency responders, and police officers. The insurance company will try to use everything you say at the accident scene against you. As a result, be careful of what you say and who you are saying it to. For instance, do not apologize or admit anything. Do not casually claim you are “fine.” In all truth, you do not know if you are ”fine” at that point. Often, accident victims do not understand the extent of their injuries until examined by a physician. And other injuries like pain, aches, and muscle do not immediately manifest following an accident. As a result, it is generally safer (and more accurate) to say that you are not aware of any major injuries, but that you are dazed and confused and suffering from headache, muscle soreness, stress, shock or anxiety—as the case may be—and that you need to be checked out by a physician.  Otherwise, the police report will simply say “no injuries,” which is often wildly inaccurate.

GATHER CONTACT INFORMATION FROM WITNESSES.

If there are witnesses, and if you are able, talk with them. Get their names, addresses, and phone numbers. Witness testimony may be critical to your case down the road. And you cannot assume the police will talk with all or even any of the witnesses. They often leave the scene before police arrive or before police are able to speak with them. And oftentimes, police officers simply do not interview witnesses at the scene.

EXCHANGE INFORMATION WITH THE OTHER DRIVER.

It is important that you get the names, phone numbers, addresses, insurance information, and driver’s license number for everyone involved in the crash. Also, make sure you get the make, model, year, color, and license plate number of all vehicles. The easiest and most reliable way to get this information is usually to take pictures with your cell phone.

TAKE LOTS OF PHOTOS AND VIDEOS.

After exchanging information with the other drivers, make sure you take plenty of photos and videos. Take photos and videos of the vehicles, accident scene, signage, property damage, debris, road conditions, marks on the road, and traffic signs and signals. You cannot assume that the police will take the photos or videos you may need for your claim. They usually do not take any photos or videos at the scene.  

do not post about the crash on social media.

After an auto accident, many people are eager to post about it on social media. They want to let friends and family know that they were in an accident and that they are “ok.” Do not do this. Stay off social media after an accident. As we talked about above, in the moments following an accident, you really do not know if you are “ok” and the insurance company may later misinterpret your social media posts against you to deny your claim. 

GET MEDICAL ATTENTION.

After an accident, you need to be seen by a physician. Always. Even if you do not feel too banged up, it is best to get checked out by a physician. Plus, by going to a physician, you create an additional record of your accident. As soon as possible after an accident, get in to see any of the following types of medical providers: your personal physician; Instacare; or an emergency room physician. Tell them what happened, along with a detailed report of all of your physical, mental, and emotional symptoms. Ask them to exam you for any associated injuries.

TALK TO A LAWYER AS SOON AS YOU CAN.

After an accident, you need to get in touch with an attorney—one experienced in handling car accident claims—as soon as possible. Consult with your attorney before making any statements to the other driver’s insurance company. Insurance companies will try to talk to you before you hire an attorney. They know you are in a vulnerable position and will take advantage of that fact. They may attempt to interview you to secure admissions helpful to their case or they may persuade you accept a quick, lowball settlement offer before you are able to retain an attorney. An experienced Salt Lake City personal injury attorney will protect you against these types of insurance company tactics, among many others, to ensure that you receive the compensation you deserve.

SHANE GOSDIS IS THE BEST ATTORNEY IN SALT LAKE CITY FOR YOUR AUTO ACCIDENT.

If you have sustained injuries in a car accident in Salt Lake City or any other Utah location, you need to retain a Utah car accident lawyer. You are entitled to compensation. Shane Gosdis will help you recover it, including compensation for your past medical bills; future medical bills; past pain and suffering; future pain and suffering; past lost wages; future lost wages; and property damage. Call or text 385-429-9960 to speak with a Salt Lake accident attorney today.

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