Car accidents are one of the leading causes of death in the United States. From slippery winter roads to speeding, accidents happen for all kinds of reasons. Sometimes, we just looked away from the road for mere seconds.
When you get in a car accident, your anxiety runs high and you can start to panic. For people who are getting into an accident for the first time, it can be even scarier.
Knowing what to do after car accidents can save you time, stress, and money. This article is here to help you take the steps you need after a car accident.
Never Leave the Scene
Car accidents are scary, and all your instincts are telling you to get out of there. However, leaving a car accident is the worst thing you can do whether you caused it or not. When you leave an accident, it opens up the possibility for hit and run charges.
Stop at the scene of the accident and take a few minutes to gather yourself. Look around to determine the safety level of the scene. If you’re able to, safely exit your car and check on anyone else involved in the accident. Anyone else involved in the accident if able is supposed to take these steps as well.
Always contact 911 as soon as possible if it is a major accident, there is a fire, or someone is seriously injured.
Talk With Other Drivers
After composing yourself and assessing the situation, the next thing you need to do is talk to other drivers or persons involved. The goal of this discussion is to exchange information, like names, phone numbers, and insurance.
When discussing the accident, be careful what you say. Don’t claim fault or discuss how you feel. Injuries can appear later on, and stating that you are fine at the accident can count against you if you need to file a claim.
Take photos and record details about the scene. Police will document the accident, but it’s important to do it yourself too. Photos of cars, damage, the road, and the environment can reinforce what happened.
If possible, write down everything that happened immediately. Trauma causes us to remember things differently down the road, and making records at the scene can prevent inconsistencies.
Record what happened leading up to the accident, during the accident, and afterward. Simple information like the weather should also be recorded.
Visit a Doctor
This step can happen at different points depending on the severity of the accident. Severe injuries will require immediate medical attention.
Even if you feel nothing, you need to visit a medical professional. Sometimes, injuries won’t appear until a few days after the accident. If you start to notice aches, pains, or headaches, visit a doctor as soon as possible. You can even visit a doctor to help with stress after the accident occurs.
Be clear that you are there because of a car accident. Ask for copies of the documentation for your visit to keep in your records.
Alert Your Insurance
When you contact your insurance about an accident, they will send a claims adjuster out to determine liability and damages. If the police did not come to the accident, you have 60 days to file a report with the Department of Revenue. Everyone who was involved in the accident needs to file a report.
The documentation and photos you took of the accident beforehand are important when talking to your insurance. Your level of liability in the accident can impact your insurance rates and how much they are willing to contribute towards damages.
Contact a Lawyer
Contacting personal injury lawyers can make going through the insurance claim process easier. Law firms know the tricks and tools insurance companies use, and how to combat them.
According to Welch Law Firm, working with an attorney that fights passionately for your rights can result in a positive outcome. A car accident attorney with experience can get you the money you need to cover all costs. The sooner you contact personal injury law firms can guarantee you do everything right from the beginning to end.
Now You Know What to Do After Car Accidents
Knowing what to do after car accidents can help reduce the stress involved. Personal injury lawyers can guide you through the process after an accident happens. Staying at the scene, documenting everything, seeking medical help, and getting legal assistance will create a smooth transition into life after the car accident.
Do you need more legal advice? Check out the rest of our blog!