If you have been involved in a car accident, you know it can be very difficult to think quickly and to know what you should do next. But a wrong move could result in you accepting liability for a crash that wasn’t your fault. That’s why it is pivotal to know beforehand what you should do if you find yourself in a car accident.
Let’s take a look at some key steps to remember after a car accident.
1. Stop and pull over.
Don’t ever flee the scene, even if it’s just a minor accident.
2. Call the police.
In some instances it is necessary to call the police. This is especially the case if the location of the accident is posing a threat to others, or if the person that caused the accident has fled the scene. But to be sure that you have protected yourself from liability, you should call the police even if no serious damage or injuries have occurred. Be accurate in how you report the incident to the police when they arrive.
3. See a medical professional.
The importance of seeing a doctor cannot be overstated. When accidents cause serious injuries, there is no other option but to receive medical attention. However, those who have suffered minor injuries often skip the visit to the hospital.
Not only is this an ill-advised decision for your health, but you’ll be unable to build a case for compensation if there is no proof of your injuries after the accident. One of the most common injuries experienced in a car crash is whiplash, which can take a few hours or even days to surface, which is why seeing a doctor even if you feel fine is important.
4. Take photographs.
It is a good idea to take photographs of the scene and any damage to your car as soon as possible after the accident. If your injuries are visible, take photos of your injuries too.
5. Get the contact details of the other driver.
You will need the basic contact information, i.e. name, telephone number, and address, of the other party or parties involved in the accident. You will also require their vehicle registration number, as well as the make and model of their car. Finally, make sure you get the details of their insurance company too.
6. Get the contact details of any witnesses.
Witness statements will strengthen your case significantly. Therefore, make sure you get the name and telephone number of anyone who witnessed the accident.
7. Report the incident to your insurance company.
You also need to call your insurance provider so that they are aware of what has happened. This is important in case you decide to make a claim at a later time.
8. Make a note of everything that happened.
Creating a written or recorded record soon after the accident occurs will help you ensure that you do not forget any essential details.
9. Keep proof of any costs incurred.
This could include anything from medical expenses and vehicle repair costs to loss of income and counseling costs. You can claim compensation for these costs as special damages, but you will need to provide proof of the costs through evidence such as receipts in order to do so.
10. Consult an attorney.
A personal injury lawyer can help you get the representation you need and make sure your rights are protected. If you make a claim for compensation on your own, you run the risk of being pressured to settle for less than you deserve. That’s why you need an experienced attorney who will enable you to secure full compensation.
Some of these actions might already be your automatic response after a car accident, like going to the hospital if you’re injured; but you may not have considered others, like taking photographs. This is why it is critical to educate yourself just in case you are involved in an accident on the road. Now you know exactly what to do if you find yourself in a car accident.