There are important steps to take after a car accident occurs. Unfortunately, being in a car accident can be very traumatic and disorientating. It can be impossible to look up the proper steps to take when faced with such an ordeal. Knowing the proper steps to take after an accident before an accident occurs can help drivers be more prepared in such a situation.
These various steps can help protect the driver from making any injuries more severe and also protect them from financial consequences that are not necessarily their responsibility. Although the best method for protection is to follow road and safety laws to prevent an accident in the first place, it is impossible to control other drivers or road conditions that can cause an accident. Being prepared will ensure safety and protection for everyone involved.
Check for Injuries
Immediately after an accident, the first thing a driver should do is take a breath and orient themselves to the situation. If the driver is injured, call emergency response immediately or have someone else do so if the driver it unable to. The next step is to identify any injuries of the passengers. If there are any obvious injuries or injuries are possible, it is important to get medical assistance right away, even if the person feels fine. Getting checked out by medical professionals can help ensure there are no problems and prevent serious complications that can be caused by missed injuries. Immediate medical attention can also help with an accident claim. An Edinburg car accident lawyer will need the medical information to pursue a claim against the at-fault driver.
Move to Safety
If the driver is not seriously injured and the vehicle is still driveable, it is important the vehicles be moved from the roadway to prevent new accidents or issues. If the vehicle is unable to be moved, turn off the ignition, turn on the hazard lights, and get to a safe area away from passing traffic. All drivers and passengers should also move to a safe location until help can arrive. At this point, it is probably a good idea to see that no one else is injured. Sometimes, it is not always apparent immediately after an accident. The shock and trauma from the impact can cause some people to be unaware of injuries until they have calmed down.
Contact the Police
Regardless of whether there are injuries, the next step after an accident should be to contact the police department. This action can be very beneficial in getting a proper accident report for the insurance claim. In some states, contacting the police is legally required. Once the responding officers arrive, they can begin creating an accident report. This report will document the scene and take statements from everyone involved in the accident. If the police are unable to come to the scene of the accident, it is important to file a claim at the police department as soon as possible. The accident report will be helpful in filing an insurance claim and may be required by some insurance companies.
Both drivers should provide their basic contact information to each other. This information can be very beneficial in the accident claims process. However, it is important to limit the information to only necessary items. It is also important that both drivers avoid discussing fault and only stick to the facts of the situation. The basic list of information that should be taken at the scene of the accident include:
- Name and current contact information for all drivers
- Insurance company and policy number of every driver
- Driver’s license number and license plate number
- Location of the accident, including any intersecting roadways or landmarks
- Description of the other vehicle
The more information a driver has after the accident, the easier it will be to get compensation for the accident. This makes it important for those involved in an accident to gather as much information as possible at the scene. Most cellphones have cameras. This makes it easy to get pictures of the accident scene. When taking pictures, be sure to take pictures of all vehicles involved and any damage. Taking pictures of the area where the accident took place and any pertinent conditions that may have led to the accident.
It is also a good idea to document the name of the responding officers at the scene. Drivers should also write down all the details of the accident as soon as possible while memories are fresh. It is also a good idea to get contact information from any witnesses of the accident. These witnesses can help confirm the details of the accident.
Contact Insurance Company
The next step is to contact the insurance company. There is no need to contact them from the scene of the accident. In fact, it is probably better to wait until things calm down. This ensures that clear and accurate information is given to the insurance representative. Contacting the insurance company helps to get the claims process started.
After the initial contact, the insurance company will probably need a copy of the accident report and other information collected at the accident scene. The insurance company will also need information about medical treatment. When dealing with one’s personal insurance company, there may not be any risks or issues. However, when dealing with the other driver’s insurance company, things can get complicated. An attorney can often be the best option for providing information for specific claims, especially those with injuries.
Contact an Attorney
In some cases, it may be beneficial to contact an accident attorney as soon as possible. When an injury has occurred, things can get quite complicated and expensive. An attorney can assist in contacting the insurance company to ensure that only necessary information is provided. An attorney can protect an individual’s rights and ensure their claim is processed fairly.
Often, an insurance company will attempt to settle an accident claim quickly and for a low amount. This settlement offer may even come before the full extent of a person’s injuries are known. This can leave a person unable to cover their medical costs or even lost wages. This makes it important to have an attorney review the settlement before it is accepted. Once accepting the offer, there is no recourse to get more compensation when more bills come in from the accident.
The process after a car accident can be difficult and confusing to navigate. This can be further complicated when there are injuries involved. Understanding the steps to keep everyone safe and to protect their rights can help make this process a lot easier.
From the time of the accident throughout the entire process, everything should be documented to ensure rights are protected. This includes keeping track of all medical bills and appointments, taking notes of all interactions with insurance companies or others involved in the case, and keeping records of all costs and losses caused by the accident. These things can be very beneficial in ensuring the claim is processed quickly and properly with fair compensation at the end.