Everyone enjoys driving around the neighborhood or highways in their sleek cars. Little do we expect the occurrence of an automobile accident. However, this is prevalent on the roads today. Approximately more than six million car accidents happen annually in the USA.
Car accidents range from minor fender benders to severe collisions that might cause personal injuries. If that happens, it is essential to know what steps to take following such an incident.
Above everything, remember to take deep breaths and keep calm and collected, so you’ll be able to make sound decisions and not be overpowered by overwhelming feelings that might aggravate the situation or your injury. Once you’ve settled in, here are a few important things you need to do:
Check If Anyone Is Hurt
When you get into an accident, never leave the scene, regardless of its severity. Aside from the fact that it is a crime to do so, you also need to ensure the safety of everyone involved. Make sure that everyone is okay, especially if you have passengers with you. Check on them if they require medical assistance.
Park Your Car Safely If Possible
If the situation allows, park the car at the side of the road to allow traffic flow. Protect the scene by switching the hazard lights and setting up reflective triangles and emergency flares to warn other motorists about the accident that may affect traffic. However, in severe cases, the vehicles can be left where they are to await police inspection.
Contact Medical Responders And Other Authorities
It is necessary to contact an emergency response team regardless of how severe the accident may be. In almost every car crash, at least one or two may sustain minor to major injuries, which is why it has to be addressed as soon as possible.
In case no one was injured, it is still important to contact other authorities to respond to the accident, especially the police. This will be helpful when you file a police report to make an insurance claim. The police will mediate and help you determine what occurred and who the faulty party is.
Safeguard Your Rights
Aside from contacting emergency responders and the police, it is also important to contact your attorney immediately after an accident. Your Columbia auto accident lawyer will help to protect the evidence and your rights.
Hiring the services of a personal injury lawyer will also enable you to know what to say when giving your statements to insurance companies. With the help of a lawyer, you will get fully compensated for the damages and get the best medical treatment possible.
Collect Essential Information
Once everything calms down after an incident, you will need the other drivers’ information. Ask for their driving license and note their name, phone number, address, license plate number, insurance policy number, and the insurance company.
Document The Scene
If you have a camera like a cell phone, take pictures of the scene. The images should capture any visible damage and visible injuries. You should record as many details as possible using a video camera and capture both vehicles. Don’t fail to capture the position of the cars, as this helps to recreate the accident.
Keep A File
The information that you collect at the accident scene should be easily accessible. This information might involve storing all the documents and evidence you can retrieve on demand. This information can include the claim number, claim adjuster, names and phone numbers, rental car receipts, and other expenses.
Don’t Discuss Responsibility At The Roadside
One of the things that you should never do when involved in an accident is never to admit responsibility. This allegation should be left until you’re sure of what happened. It could offer you protection from liability if the fault were not yours. Any statement to apologize or admit guilt can hurt your case.
Call The Insurance Company
It is best to contact your insurance company after the accident. This step will help start the claim process as soon as possible and give you access to other services with your insurance policy. Your insurance company will need the information that you gathered at the scene. They will inform you of any further information required for the claim process.
See A Doctor
Some of the injuries from motor vehicle accidents may not be immediately apparent. Many victims start feeling pain a day or two after the accident date. It is, therefore, vital for you to seek medical attention soon after the accident, even if you feel okay. Even minor accidents can cause permanent injuries like concussions.
Filing for a personal injury claim can be complicated. Therefore, knowing what to do in case of an automobile accident will help you handle the situation appropriately. When you follow the steps mentioned above, you are likely to get the best possible compensation.
As the Voice of the Veteran Community, The Havok Journal seeks to publish a variety of perspectives on a number of sensitive subjects. Unless specifically noted otherwise, nothing we publish is an official point of view of The Havok Journal or any part of the U.S. government.