Being involved in a car accident is usually a traumatic and confusing moment. However, it is crucial to remember that some action may aggravate or make the situation better off. To avoid more harm, there are several things you should always do if involved in any kind of an accident. Some of the things to do after a car accident include the following
Immediately the accident occurs
The first thing to do after an accident is to stop at the accident scene. Do not attempt to drive away even if the accident is a minor one until the police have arrived at the scene. Driving away may cause additional charges against you.
Protect the scene of the accident from causing any further accidents. On a busy road, the oncoming vehicles may not know of an accident ahead, it is, therefore, important to inform them of the danger ahead by keeping your car flasher on or setting up flares. If it is in total darkness and your car lights are no longer working, use a flashlight to alert others motorist as you wait for help arrival.
Reporting the accident to the police
Once involved in an accident, contact the police to inform them of the accident. This applies to any form of accident, whether grisly or one with no serious injuries. The main reason behind informing the police is that you need their report when making any insurance claim with your vehicle insurer. The police report will determine whether the cause of damage to your vehicle will be compensated or not. Unless the vehicles involved in an accident obstructs traffic, they should remain unmoved till the arrival of the police.
At the arrival of the police, you will be required to give an account of what transpired before the accident occurred, you may want to enlist the help of an experienced car accident attorney to aide you in this process. At this point, do not panic as this may lead to a wrong report. Always give an accurate report to the police. However, do not attempt to give any information or facts that you are not aware of. Speculation of the facts, making guesses or misstating the facts should be avoided as they may land you into more trouble. Whenever you have doubt about what the investigator ask you, be ready to acknowledge that you are in doubts. When asked about any injuries, do not rush to say you are uninjured as the injuries and pains from such an accident usually become obvious several hours after the accident. If possible, ensure the other person involved in the accident make an accurate statement.
Obtain and keep safely the police report number from the investigating offices. You will use this number at a later date to obtain the police report of the accident. On state roads, this number is obtained from the state police.
If the police response to the accident delays for long, always acquire informative details of the vehicles involved in the accident. This should include the names, addresses and contact details of the people, both drivers, and passengers, involved in the accident, someone from a law firm might be able to help you. Vital details can be obtained from the vehicles insurance cards. Also, get the details from any witnesses for future contact about the accident.
Thanks to technology, you can make a record of the accident by taking pictures or recording videos, which could help your lawyer a lot. Take photos of any visible damage to the vehicles. Also, capture any visible injuries on yourself. In taking the images, be warned not to interfere with the scene of the accident and the police investigations. If it is impossible to record the actual accident, attempt to capture them immediately the accident occurs.
Report to your insurance
You should inform your insurer as soon as possible concerning the accident. Find out whether you have any benefit from the insurance covering medical assistance. In some cases, some motor vehicle insurance has a MedPay facility that covers any medical bills arising from your car accident. In such case, you are to submit all the bills pertaining the treatment of accident caused injuries to the insurer.
Always remember to seek medical attention after an accident, even if you have no visible injuries. Some accident may cause internal injuries that become apparent after a relatively longer time. Consult your doctor to make sure that you have not sustained injuries that may affect you in the end. Check for head or spinal injuries as they may affect both cognitive and behavior when left unattended.
After an accident, it is imperative that you consult your attorney. This is, meant to protect your rights and ensure the safety of any valuable evidence. In the confusion of an accident, some people may take undue advantage of your situation to violate your rights. In such situation, it is important that you have legal advice before issuing any statement. The attorney will guide you on the steps to take when seeking for compensation as well as ensure you get the correct treatment. Usually, there are no legal fees for a personal injury attorney until full recovery of the damages since they work on contingency fees basis
Keep an accurate record of any accident that you have been involved. This record should include the names, contacts, and addresses of the other vehicle owners. The claim numbers and the claim adjuster managing your claim are other important sets of information to retain. Also, keep a record of other expenses you have incurred because of the accident in one file for easier retrieval.