Moments after a vehicle collision, you probably won’t think very clearly, which is understandable. It’s a stressful and daunting experience that will leave you scared, confused and in pain. However, learning the necessary steps following a vehicular accident can prevent further physical harm and protect your legal rights.
All collisions are traumatic, and you can’t take that away. Still, the steps you take following an accident can enormously affect your physical well-being and legal liability. If you are involved in a vehicular accident, remember to take the following steps to protect yourself and your interests.
Stay At The Scene
You must never leave the scene of the crash. If you do so, you could face some serious criminal prosecution. You could be charged with a hit-and-run, especially if you injured someone.
Since you have to stay at the scene, you might ensure everyone’s safety if you’re able. Check yourself for any injuries, as well as others who are involved in the accident. You can use these additional resources to educate yourself about the most common types of vehicular accident injuries.
Move any vehicles to the side of the road if possible. You can also use cones, flares, and other indicators to serve as a sign for other motorists that there’s an accident.
Call The Authorities
Even if the crash is minor, you should always report it to the local authorities. Why? Because reporting the collision helps protect you and other people involved in the accident, which is especially true for major vehicular accidents. Once you call the police, the emergency medical services will also be alerted and arrive at the scene to provide immediate medical care.
The police will also conduct their investigation and create a police report. Now, you must acquire a copy of this police report as it is crucial for the claims process. Avoid finding a resolution with the other driver, as it gets messy. You can rely on your insurance company to receive compensation instead.
Also, avoid discussing who’s at fault for the collision with the other driver. When the police ask you questions about the crash, answer them accurately and truthfully.
Gather Important Information
The next step is to collect essential information from other drivers involved in the accident. First, gather necessary personal information, including names, addresses, contact numbers, driver’s license numbers, insurance information, etc.
As mentioned earlier, discussing the details of the accident with the other driver won’t get you anywhere. Emotions tend to rule over these discussions, and they’ll complicate things even more. Also, take good care when talking to the other driver, as you may make a statement that could mean admitting or speculating who’s at fault for the crash.
If there are any witnesses, try to get their names and contact information and ask them about what happened. Their statement might become significant for the claims process later on.
Call Your Insurance Company
Before you call your insurance company, gather all the necessary information about the accident. The more details you provide, the easier it will be to file a claim. For example, take pictures of the damage to both vehicles and write down their names and addresses. Also, you should take down the names and addresses of all drivers involved in the accident and any witnesses. This way, your insurance company will be able to determine the cause of the accident and help you receive the best compensation possible.
Remember that your insurance company has a deadline for filing claims, so it’s important to report accidents to them as soon as possible.
Consult An Attorney
In a car accident, it is vital to contact an attorney immediately. The days immediately following a collision can be long, stressful, and frustrating. Dealing with insurance companies can be even more difficult. Having a professional advocate on your side will help you deal with the insurance adjuster, negotiate the best settlement amount, and protect your rights.
In addition to collecting evidence, auto accident attorneys can also help you understand settlement options. For example, most car accidents settle out of court—eliminating the need for a lawsuit. But by hiring an auto accident attorney, you’ll have a better chance of negotiating a better settlement deal.
A vehicle collision can leave anyone weary. But if you follow these steps, you can prevent worrying too much. This way, you can focus on getting the compensation you deserve and start the recovery process as soon as possible.