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What’s the Best Thing to Do In A Car Accident?

What you do after a car accident in Montana can make a big difference in the success of your claim. It could also impact your personal health and your right to file. It’s extremely important to consult a Montana car accident attorney after a crash if you need guidance and legal counsel. When in doubt, talk it out with a lawyer who has your best interests at heart. In the meantime, here are general steps you should take after a car accident in Montana.

1. Check for Injuries

The first thing you should do after a car accident is to check yourself for injuries. The adrenaline of the collision might mask your injuries at first, so take things slowly. Don’t assume you’re unharmed, even if you don’t feel any pain. You could have hidden injuries with delayed symptoms. If you’re able to move, relocate yourself (and your disabled vehicle, if possible) to a safe location on the side of the road. Turn off your engine, put on your emergency lights, and stay out of the road. Then, check others for injuries.

2. Call 911

If you or anyone else has injuries, call 911 and request an ambulance. Report the crash to the police and wait on the scene for them to arrive. It is the law in Montana (61-7-108, 61-7-109, and 61-7-110) to report a car accident to the police if there are injuries, deaths, or property damage more than $1,000 (this is most accidents). Don’t attempt to move an injured person before paramedics arrive unless it’s an absolute necessity for the person’s safety. Moving someone with a spinal cord injury could escalate a minor injury into something permanent. When police arrive, give them your side of the story. Do not admit fault for the accident.

3. Exchange Information

Once you’ve dealt with calling help for injured persons, start exchanging information with the other driver. Get his/her name, phone number, license plate number, and insurance information. Write down the information of others involved as well. Record other details of your car accident, such as how you think it happened, where you were, and the time and date. Take photographs of all vehicles involved, any injuries, and a few wide-angle shots of the entire scene of the crash. Capture any photographic evidence you can (e.g., food wrappers in the other driver’s cab that could point to driver distraction).

4. Go to the Hospital

Get immediate medical attention for any injuries you suffered in the accident. Take an ambulance or get a friend to drive you to the nearest hospital in Montana. Prompt medical treatment can preserve your physical health, but it can also help your future insurance claim. An insurance company may try to deny your claim if you wait too long to seek medical care or if you tell police you don’t have any injuries. Going to the doctor right away can show that you suffered serious injuries. Keep copies of your medical records and bills.

5. Contact a Car Accident Attorney

Before you make the phone call to the insurance company of the at-fault driver, contact us for a free car accident consultation. Insurance companies can be difficult to negotiate with, always trying to convince car accident victims to settle for an amount that’s far less than the case is worth. Our lawyers can take over your insurance claim, communicating with claims adjusters and negotiating for a higher settlement amount.

If an insurance settlement isn’t enough to cover your medical bills, property damage lost wages, and other losses, our attorneys can represent you during a car accident injury trial in Montana. We’ll help you get the best possible results for your case, no matter how severe your injuries. The sooner you speak to a Great Falls personal injury lawyer, the sooner you can get help with your car accident case.