What to Do After an Accident in Connecticut

Driver suffering whiplash from car accident.

The intense adrenaline rush following an accident can cause disorientation and confusion. Decisions can be more challenging, and the steps you know to take get lost. There is no doubt that collisions are frightening and overwhelming events. However, your actions in the aftermath of a Connecticut car accident can affect your health, safety, and compensation.

How can you protect yourself? What proactive steps can you take to strengthen your personal injury claim? Consider taking the following steps after a car accident in Connecticut.

Check for Injuries

After an accident, you must immediately check yourself and your passengers for injuries. First, check for responsiveness. Is everyone conscious and able to respond to you? If anyone is unresponsive, check for signs of breathing. Start CPR immediately if someone is unresponsive and not breathing.

Look for signs of trauma in alert individuals, such as bleeding, pain, cuts, or abnormalities. Once you thoroughly check yourself and your passengers for injuries, check the other driver and their passengers. Give first aid or medical attention to those in need if you can. Put pressure on bleeding wounds to help stop the blood flow.

Call the Police

The next thing you need to do is call the authorities for help. If you cannot call because you are injured or performing CPR, ask another specific individual to contact emergency services for you. Asking for help or shouting “call 9-1-1” is not enough. In high-tension situations, mob mentality can take over. Everyone always thinks someone else is calling or asking for help. Ask one specific person to make the call and request help. Let them know it is their job so you can be sure it gets done.

First responders can control the scene and provide immediate medical intervention to the injured. Law enforcement can also document the scene and collect information from everyone involved. In some situations, a police report can be crucial evidence that can help you build a compelling claim for maximum compensation.

Exchange Information

If you can, exchange information with the other driver. You want to ensure you have their full name, contact information, and insurance details. If witnesses are on the scene, ask them for their contact information. Keep all conversations with the other driver cordial, calm, and factual. Note what they say and how they speak, but don’t apologize for anything.

Gather Evidence

Try to collect as much evidence at the scene as possible. Take photographs and videos of the accident from multiple angles. Include the damage to both vehicles and take pictures of all the debris. Photographs of skid marks, traffic signs and signals, and other defining features can also be valuable when building a car accident claim. Take photos of your injuries as well.

Taking notes while the accident events are fresh in your head is wise. Write down what you were doing immediately before the crash and note actions or behaviors you may have noticed from the other driver before the collision. Were they constantly glancing down or making unsafe lane changes? Write a detailed but factual description of the event while you can still remember the specifics. Never assume or make judgments in your description.

Do NOT Admit Fault

It is not your job to assign blame, point fingers, or apologize for the accident. That’s the role of a skilled Connecticut car accident attorney. Never admit fault for causing the crash to the other driver or the insurance company. Even apologizing to the other driver can be taken as an admission of guilt, whether you mean it that way or not. Keep all statements short and factual.

Seek Medical Treatment

Always get medical attention immediately after an accident. Never wait to get the care you need. The adrenaline of a frightening event can mask pain and other signs of significant injuries. Your health and safety should always come first. Visit an emergency room, urgent care, or your primary care physician as soon as possible.

Your medical records can also be vital evidence when establishing the value of your accident claim and proving aspects of your financial losses. Delaying seeking treatment, failing to seek treatment, or failing to follow your doctor’s instructions can damage your claim.

Contact Your Insurance Company

In Connecticut, you can file a claim with the at-fault driver’s insurance company when you’re injured in a collision that driver caused. However, don’t forget to notify your insurance company about the accident. Failing to update your insurer after an accident may breach your insurance policy contract. You also want your insurance provider to know about the accident in case the other driver files a claim with them accusing you of being at fault. Keep your comments brief and factual. Let your attorney manage further communication between you and any insurer.

File a Claim Before the Deadline

Don’t wait to file an insurance claim seeking compensation for your injuries and financial losses. Waiting too long can jeopardize your chances of recovering the money you need. Many insurance policies specify how long you have to file an accident claim. If you don’t file by the deadline, your claim faces denial. Waiting to file until just before the deadline can seem suspicious to an insurance adjuster.

In Connecticut, you also have a legal deadline for filing a personal injury lawsuit. Accident victims have two years from the collision date to file a lawsuit. Failure to file before the deadline lapses means you have few remaining options to recover the compensation you need.

Contact a Connecticut Car Accident Lawyer

What’s the best way to protect your rights after a car crash? Call an experienced Connecticut car accident attorney for help. At Jainchill & Beckert, LLC, we can help you navigate the claim process, and we’ll fight to demand the money you deserve.

Contact our office today for a free consultation.

Aaron has been practicing law throughout Connecticut for over two decades. In that time, he has developed a strong reputation for providing both excellent and compassionate legal representation to every client that passes through our doors. He has litigated cases in nearly every courthouse in the state, and our clients benefit from his deep knowledge of the law within his practice areas and beyond.  

Reflecting the high quality of his services, he has been certified as a Civil Trial Attorney by the National Board of Legal Specialty Certification. This honor is granted to fewer than 100 attorneys in the state, as well as fewer than 4% of attorneys nationwide. Aaron graduated from the University of Connecticut in 1995 and the Western New England University School of Law in 1998.