After a Car Accident
When you hit the road in your vehicle, you’re putting yourself at risk of getting in a car accident. The vast majority of the time, an accident doesn’t occur. However, the next accident could pop up at any time. For this reason, you need to know how to handle the situation. Fortunately, you’ve come to the right place. Below, we’re going to tell you exactly what to do after a car accident, with our step-by-step guide.
Stop Your Vehicle
The first thing you should do after getting in a car accident is to stop your vehicle. Ideally, you’ll stop it exactly where the accident occurred. However, if you’re on a busy road, it might be a good idea to move your vehicle to the nearest parking lot.
The latter is a safety measure that ensures both you and the other driver involved are not put in further danger. It’s the best option on highways and busy commercial roads. Note, if you do stop your vehicle in the middle of the road, you should turn on your flashers and, if you have them on hand, set up road flares.
Check on All Individuals Involved
Once you’ve stopped your vehicle, you should get out and check on all of the individuals involved in the accident (that includes you). Try to remain calm while doing this, as acting aggressive or hostile could exacerbate the situation. If anyone is seriously injured, provide first aid and call an ambulance.
Call the Police
Next, you’re going to want to call the police. This is true even in situations where the vehicles aren’t damaged. The accident must be legally documented, as that documentation could go on to affect your and the other individuals’ insurance coverages.
Depending on the location of the accident, it could take anywhere from a few minutes to an hour for a police officer to arrive. Wait patiently by your vehicle and try to remain friendly with the other individuals involved in the accident.
Once the police do arrive, they’ll speak with all of you to determine what happened. In some cases, the police will cite a specific individual. In other cases, no one will be cited.
Take Photos and Videos
If you have a camera on you (like on your phone, for instance), you should use it to take pictures and videos of the scene. Taking pictures and videos of the affected areas of the vehicles can help you to obtain adequate insurance coverage.
You might also consider taking pictures and videos of those involved in the accident. Note, however, that it’s best to ask them before doing so. Pictures and videos won’t tell the whole story of what happened during the accident. However, they’ll lend some credence to your explanations, and that can make a big difference in the long run.
Before you and the others involved in the accident decide to leave the scene, you should swap information. This way, should you need to talk to someone down the line, you’ll be able to. If there were witnesses present, you should obtain their information as well. Getting statements from witnesses can be vital in obtaining the insurance coverage you deserve.
Now, what kinds of information do you need? If it’s from those involved in the accident, obtain a name, a phone number, address, an insurance company, an insurance policy number, a license plate number, and a driver’s license number. If it’s from witnesses, obtain a name, an address, and a phone number.
Go to the Hospital
Whether you were injured in your accident or not, you’re advised to go to the hospital and have yourself checked out. You might feel fine directly after the accident, only to feel sore the next day. An assessment from a physician right after the accident is necessary.
In fact, it has multiple benefits. Documenting treatment indicates to insurance adjusters that the accident caused pain in suffering. In addition, immediate action to take care of your injuries will help you heal quickly.
If you have visible injuries on your body, you should take detailed pictures of them. These, in tandem with a professional medical assessment, can go a long way in proving your case in court, if need be.
Keep Your Documents
You’ve collected information from drivers and witnesses. You’ve taken pictures of vehicles and injuries. You might even have a hospital report on your hands.
Make sure to store all of this safely so that you can use it at a later date if necessary. You don’t want to have to scramble around to find the necessary information and you certainly don’t want to risk losing it either.
Our advice is to put it in a binder or a box or a folder and store it in a place that you see often. This place is dependent on you, of course.
Speak with an Experienced Attorney After a Car Accident
If you’re not getting the insurance coverage you need and deserve, you’re highly advised to see a lawyer. Insurance companies can be stingy in providing compensation for auto accidents and will fight you tooth and nail to prevent having to pay you.
Fortunately, some lawyers are trained to fight in these scenarios and they can help you to get the settlement you need. Schedule a consultation with one of these lawyers and explain your case. You just might have a case on your hands.
Need Legal Help After a Car Accident?
Were you recently involved in an accident? Need legal help after a car accident? If so, the attorneys with Alpha Accident Lawyers are the people to see. Regardless of the nature of your accident, we can help you obtain the legal decision you desire. Our award-winning team of lawyers is ready to assist you. Contact us now to get the process started.