11 things to do if you’ve suffered a car accident
Wade went on a long drive with his girlfriend by the highway, but fate decides your day, man. He saw this car, totally out of control, hurtling towards them. He tried to swerve but failed and both the cars literally crashed into one another.
Wade and his girlfriend survived, but got bad injuries, – and in the language of the law, we call them personal injuries. Wade did the only wise thing to do after medical treatment, that is, hire a qualified personal injury lawyer, and this guy took care of the total case. From claims to paperwork – everything was handled by the lawyer.
When you’re on the road, you can never know what happens next – and car accidents are so common these days, mostly because of the negligence of the traffic rules. It might or not be your fault. To stay prepared, you need all the information on what is to be done when confronted with such an accident.
Do Not Flee From The Site, Stay.
Never try to flee from the accident scene, even in the case of a minor accident. Especially if you are driving the car; you may have to face serious criminal penalties, because leaving would indicate you as a hit and run driver. So stay in the scene even when you are not at fault until all the formalities of investigation are done and it’s appropriate to go.
Check On Everyone For Injuries.
It is the responsibility of the driver to keep full attention on the vehicle and the toad. After an accident, you being the driver or not, if you are able to move around, check on all the passengers, other driver(s) and pedestrians too if involved in the accident. See how they are doing, who needs immediate medical attention, look for pains and bruises as those easily go unnoticed initially.
Inform The Police About The Accident.
You need to inform the police immediately after the accident has occurred. Nowadays various emergency helpline numbers are available to contact the police.
Especially when there is significant damage done to the vehicle and other property, physical injuries or death occurred to any person, calling the police is absolutely necessary. Accident situations should be filed with the police, and don’t forget to get those policemen’s contact details.
Get Correct Information Of The Accident.
Collect the correct details of everyone involved in the accident. The most important details can be the car numbers and personal details of the drivers, including their driving licenses. Other passengers’ names, contact numbers, addresses, driver’s license numbers, insurance details, etc. should be collected. Try to be polite and co-operative in this situation of crisis. If you are unaware of the location details, ask the locals.
Keep Pictures As Proof.
Take photos of the damage done and the positions of the vehicles and the people involved, immediately after the accident. These pictures will serve as proof of the actual damage done, to be shown to the police and at the time of inquiry by the insurance company and law.
Seek Medical Help.
Get medical attention for all the people involved in the accident, including yourself. Keep track of all the treatments and medication being provided. Store all your bills and prescriptions and keep a ledger about the expenses too. Keep note of how you were affected by the accident in your daily life. It will be easier for you to claim insurance later.
Talk To The Witnesses Of The Scene.
Get on a conversation with the witnesses and locals, let them describe the accident from their point of view. Get their contact information. Ask the locals if similar accidents have occurred there before or not. During police interrogation, these witnesses serve as proofs.
Inform Your Insurance Company.
Informing your insurance provider promptly after the accident is a necessity. Convey them the exact facts about how the accident happened. Get police reports to be provided to the insurance company. Don’t lie or hide anything, because that might lead to denial of any coverage on the accident. Don’t opt for claims until you are sure that every expense entitled is being covered. Read how to build a personal injury claim after a car accident.
Consider Hiring An Attorney.
It is best to hire a lawyer/attorney in case of severe damages done by the accident. He will help settle all your claims or defend you better if you are at fault. Many people have fixed lawyers/attorneys who attend to these types of cases for a person for a contractual period of time.
Get a Property Damage Valuation.
Ask your lawyer/attorney to take an exact valuation of the damage done to your vehicle and/or property. The photographs that you took at the time of the accident will now come into use. Exact valuation is necessary for getting your insurance claims sorted.
Use Caution In Discussing The Accident.
Don’t discuss the accident with anyone, except for your lawyer, the police and your insurance provider. Never entertain interrogations from other insurance companies, forward them to your lawyer/attorney and insurance provider.
Do not apologize for anything at the site of the accident, because then you would be taking the legal liability of the incident. So admitting any sort of guilt is completely out of the question, even unintentionally.
Things to remember:
- Don’t forget to check the physical state of the drivers involved in the accident – were they drunk or not? Did any of them have a previous injury?
- Avoid social media for sometime after the accident. No need to put the accident on social media.
- Don’t sign any document provided by anyone other than the police and your own insurance provider. Even then, read the document well before signing. Learn what to do after a car accident from your lawyer too!
- Don’t neglect pains or other discomforts that occur hours after the accident. Get them treated.
- Look for evidence like faulty street lights and signage, inappropriate vehicle conditions, etc. and note them.
During an accident, damages can be severe and emotions high. To prevent more accidents at that very spot, keep hazard lights on.