The actions you take after a car accident in Kansas can affect your long-term health, legal position and financial position. Therefore, it’s essential not to panic and to work through the steps you need to take the best you can.
Auto accidents can be disorientating, regardless of who was at fault and whether anyone was seriously injured. If everybody emerges relatively unscathed, your thoughts are soon likely to turn to who was at fault and liable to pay for the damage(s).
So that you’re in the best position to deal with the aftermath of the accident and the potential, legal, health and financial ramifications, it’s best to work through the following steps after an auto accident.
What steps to take after a car accident in Kansas
Much of what you need to do after a car accident in Kansas is common sense but that may be in short supply during the immediate aftershock of a car accident. Some accident victims become overwhelmed by their situation and do things that they wouldn’t normally do.
We advise taking the following actions:
Stay at the scene of the accident
In Kansas, drivers should never leave the scene of an accident before the police arrive. If you can, move your vehicle to a safe place so that it is not blocking oncoming traffic in the roadway.
If possible, alert oncoming traffic to the danger of the situation and make it as safe as possible for you and others. Activate your car’s emergency flashers and use flares if you have them.
Report the accident to the police
The next step is to call 911 and report the accident to the police, assuming that no police officer attended the scene. If anyone is injured, request an ambulance.
By law, drivers in Kansas must report any accident that causes $1,000 or more in property damage. They also have the responsibility to call the police if someone was killed or if a driver/passenger of any vehicle departs the scene without leaving their name and contact details.
Collect the other drivers’ information
Next, regardless of who you think is to blame, request the contact and insurance information from all drivers involved in the accident (there may be more than one) and their passengers.
Take pictures of any documents provided and write down the vehicle registrations and descriptions while they’re fresh in your mind.
This will help you and your personal injury lawyer deal with the legalities, proving liability for the accident and the insurance claim you may need to make.
Gather evidence at the scene
Depending on whether or not you’re injured, try to gather as much evidence as you can while you’re present at the scene of the accident.
Typically, drivers should try to take pictures and video, focusing on the positions of the vehicles involved, the relevant roads/intersections, any signs or road markings, the road conditions, injuries of those involved, and so on — anything that may help you determine liability for the accident later. Pictures and videos from different angles are usually the most effective.
Take witness details
If there are witnesses at the scene of the accident, ask for their contact details. Your personal injury lawyer may need a witness statement to strengthen your claim for damages.
Often, fault for the accident is contested and the testimony of independent witnesses can carry a lot of weight in such cases.
Provide basic information to the police
The police will need to make an accident report. To assist them with this, you’ll need to provide details of how the accident occurred. Each person involved may give a different account so the more evidence you have the better.
It is especially important to point out to the police if you believe the other driver may be impaired and any injuries that you have suffered.
Before leaving the scene, request the accident report number from the police officer and politely ask when the report will be ready as you’ll need a copy.
See a doctor
If you require prompt medical treatment for injuries, you may leave the scene of the accident in an ambulance. But even if you don’t feel any accident injuries, it’s important to get to a medical facility and seek a medical assessment as soon as possible — so that there is an official record of your medical condition after the accident.
Sometimes, accident injuries only develop or become apparent hours or days after a car accident. If this is the case and you didn’t seek medical help at the time of the accident, it can weaken your compensation claim.
Get organized and make a timeline
It won’t be the first thing you do after an auto accident in Kansas but as soon as you’re able to, get organized and make a timeline of events.
Gather all the evidence you have compiled into a file and write down everything you remember about the events leading up to the accident and in the immediate aftermath.
Make copies (preferably scanned/digital versions) of all relevant documents and prepare a file to hand to your personal injury lawyer so that you can begin the process of claiming compensation against the at-fault driver(s).
Call Irigonegary, Turney & Revenaugh LLP
Once you’ve dealt with the immediate safety, medical and police issues, your thoughts should turn to seeking legal assistance from a personal injury attorney.
If another driver was negligent or reckless and caused the accident, you are entitled to file a compensation claim. Even in “open and shut” cases, it’s rarely straightforward to get what you deserve from insurance companies as they can “play dirty”. Having the help of a seasoned car accident lawyer who knows all the tricks can help maximize your claim.
It’s best to call your attorney as soon as possible after the car accident to allow enough time to compile the claim according to Kansas law — and to take over all communications with the insurance company.
At ITR Law, we provide a free consultation with a personal injury lawyer, who can assess your claim, help protect your legal rights and outline your legal options.
Two things NOT to do after an accident in Kansas
It helps to know what NOT to do after a car accident too. Be wary of what you say and do as it could jeopardize your legal position:
- Don’t admit any fault: be calm, honest and helpful with the police and other drivers/passengers but do not admit fault to anyone.
- Don’t talk to insurance adjusters: you may get a call from insurance adjusters soon after your accident. This may be an attempt for a quick, low-ball settlement that is not in your best interests. It’s generally advisable to refer loss adjusters to your personal injury attorney so that you don’t say anything that damages your claim.
If you’re involved in a car accident in Topeka, don’t take any chances. Speak to a personal injury lawyer during a free case evaluation today.