A car accident leaves even the calmest and composed individuals scattered and panicked. It can feel like a blur with people huddled around asking question after question. Understanding what is likely to occur after you have been in a car accident will help you be prepared if you ever find yourself in a collision.
Here is your seven-step guide for what to do after you have been in an accident to keep you and your loved ones safe and preserve your legal rights.
Move to a Safe Area
The first thing to do is ensure you are not in any danger. If your vehicle is movable, move it to the hard shoulder or the side of the road. Don’t wait inside your vehicle.
If your vehicle is in the middle of a busy street and cannot be moved, ensure you stand well clear of the wreckage. Put the car’s hazards lights on to alert other drivers.
Check Yourself for Injuries
You will likely have received a serious bolt of adrenaline from the accident. Therefore, even if you have sustained an injury, it may not be immediately obvious. Check and make sure you did not sustain any injuries. If you did, call for an ambulance right away.
If you were carrying passengers in the car, check them at this point. If any are injured, call for emergency assistance.
Check on the Other Party
Go and check on the other people involved. They may require emergency assistance. Do not engage in conversation beyond asking if they are injured at this stage.
Call the Police
Even in relatively minor accidents, having a police report will help provide insurers with evidence. Call the police to the scene immediately and make a full report. Cooperate with the officers at the scene but do not admit responsibility or fault at this stage. The police will determine who was at fault from both parties’ testimonies.
Before anyone leaves the scene, you should try to make sure you have the following:
- The name of the other driver
- Their insurer and policy number
- Their driver’s license and plate number
- The type, model and color of their vehicle
- The precise location of the accident
- Information from the police as to where you can get a copy of the police report
- Photographs of both vehicles and the damage
- The names and contact information of any witnesses
File an Insurance Claim
You should notify your insurance agency and begin the claims process at the earliest opportunity.
Contact an Attorney
If you believe the accident wasn’t your fault, you might have a claim. Contact an attorney with experience in dealing with car accident claims to find out how they can assist you and how much your claim might be worth. Follow the link for lawyers who will go above and beyond for you.
It is important you got through these steps to preserve your legal rights. Some injuries, especially those affecting the head and brain, may not appear until several days after the accident. If you did not take steps to preserve your legal right, you may have inadvertently undermined your legal case for compensation, making it difficult to secure renumeration for your injuries.
By completing all of these steps, you will have adequately preserved your legal rights, allowing you to make a strong case for renumeration.