There are an average of 6 million car accidents every year in the US. With that many accidents happening on the road, it’s important that you know what to do in case you’re ever in one.
Continue reading and we’ll walk you exactly what you should do immediately following a car accident.
Immediately following a car accident, the first thing you want to do is stop as soon as it’s safe to do so. Whenever you hit another car or a person, you should not continue driving. Driving away would be considered a hit and run, an action that’s a crime in every state.
When you stop, you want to pull off to the side of the road, if possible. It’s important that you get away from the flow of traffic so that you don’t end up causing obstacles for other cars.
Make Sure Everyone Is Okay
Car accidents are known to cause injuries and even death.
You want to check that you have not sustained any life threatening injuries immediately following a car accident. If you have, call an ambulance immediately or seek other means of medical attention.
You also want to make sure that the other person involved in the accident is also okay and safe.
Call the Police
Generally, whenever a car accident results in property damage or bodily injury, the law requires you to call the police.
When the police arrive, they will want to take down your information. Here, they will collect your name, phone number, address, car information, and insurance information.
You will also get to tell them your perspective of what happened and how the accident occurred.
The police will then go to the other driver and collect their information. It’s best to leave the information gathering to the police if possible.
It’s typically advisable to only talk briefly with the other party. After an accident, things can get pretty heated and you don’t want to make things any worse.
The police will also call an ambulance for anyone who feels that they need to seek medical attention.
The officer will then file a car accident report. This will contain important information about the accident that will be used for your claim later.
Make sure that you look over the report and check that all of the information is correct and accurate. As time goes on, the report can become harder to change.
If the report ends up saying that you were driving at 65mph and you believe you were driving at 55mph, this is something that you’ll definitely want to get corrected.
Make a Record
While waiting for the police, you want to document as much of the accident as you can. If you have a pen and paper, write down exactly what happened while it’s all still fresh in your memory.
Then, take out your phone and take pictures and videos. Take a photo of the accident scene.
Also, take a photo of any dents or damage to your car. If you were injured, take photos of the injuries as well.
You also want to take a photo of the other car’s damages. Be sure to do this while also being respectful of the other driver.
These records could come in handy during any dispute that happens with your claim.
Under no circumstances should you ever apologize or say the word “sorry” immediately following a car accident. You should never claim liability for a car accident or even imply it.
Even if you think the car accident was your fault, you don’t have all of the facts yet and can’t be completely sure.
The other driver could have been texting when the accident occurred. A traffic light might have been faulty or your car might have some defective part you didn’t know about.
By taking blame for the car accident, you put yourself into a very difficult position if new information should later suggest that the accident wasn’t your fault.
Also, in many states, there is often partial liability. So each party could be considered partly responsible for the accident.
Call a Lawyer
It’s highly advisable that after a car accident, once you make sure that everyone is okay, you retain the services of a car accident injury attorney.
Being in a car accident can be both traumatizing and disorienting. In this fragile mental state, it’s easy for someone to accidentally give up their rights or not get as much out of a claim as they deserve.
A car accident lawyer can advise you on how to proceed. They can speak to your insurance company for you as well. Insurance companies are known for trying to settle as quickly and cheaply as possible.
A lawyer will fight for you in order to get you the most amount of money that they can possibly get you. They’ll establish a personal relationship with you and understand how best to help you.
Why You Should Know what to Do After a Car Accident
Once a car accident occurs, you might become frantic and confused. By knowing beforehand what you should do once a car accident occurs, you’ll be better prepared if it ever happens.
Just make sure to remain calm and check that everyone involved is okay. And remember that a lawyer can greatly help you recover from your damages.
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