Traffic accidents are now becoming a major problem in the US. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) shows that around 42,000 people lost their lives in 2021 due to car accidents. This number shows an increase of 10.5% from 2020 and is the highest in the last 16 years.
As lockdown restrictions ease, people can commute more freely than in the last two years. However, it also increases the chances of car accidents as more people will drive on the roads and highways.
While you might drive cautiously on the road, there is no way to tell when you might get involved in an accident. There is always a possibility that you may become a part of a car collision due to someone else’s mistake. So, you need to get familiar with what steps you should take after an accident? Here it goes.
Car Accident: Steps That You Should Follow
Getting involved in a car accident can be a daunting experience, and you might want to go home soon afterward. But there are some vital things that you need to take care of after a collision. Car accident lawyers will play a critical role in helping you determine the person at fault and getting compensation for damages. Get Medical Treatment and Keep Proper Records of Documents
The health and safety of your family and yourself should be the top priority. So, getting treatment on time is vital if you have sustained any injuries. Even if you don’t have any physical wounds, you should go for a checkup at the nearest hospital to ensure there are no internal injuries.
Going through a checkup for your injuries is critical since it will ensure that they don’t have any serious implications in the long run. Also, get the relevant documents such as test reports, doctors’ notes, etc. These documents will help you get compensation from your insurance company for your injuries.
- Call the Police
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The next thing you should do is call law enforcement agencies to the accident spot. You can contact the police so they can note the witnesses’ information and write a report for the accident. Also, it is imperative to get the names and badge numbers of the police officers after they arrive on the scene.
Moreover, get a copy of the accident report from the police officers. It may be required by the insurance company when you file a claim for the damages to your car.
Additionally, it is best to note down the name and contact details of all the witnesses presented at the accident. It is an important thing that every attorney for car accidents emphasizes.
- Wait For Help
When you get involved in an accident, you should turn off the engine and turn on the hazard lights. It will indicate other cars on the road to slow down. Next, you should wait for the towing company or other assistance to help you move your vehicle.
While you’re waiting, you should beware of bandit tow trucks. The National Insurance Crime Bureau has warned drivers not to take help from any tow truck drivers that they didn’t call. These can lead to potential scams as they might ask for an unreasonable payout from you.
- Exchange Information with the Other Driver
Exchanging contact details and insurance information with the driver is also a critical thing to keep in mind. You might be shaken due to the accident, but you should make sure to exchange the information with the other driver. Here are some details that drivers need to note after an accident:
- Car’s make and model of vehicle
- Driver’s license number
- Insurance company and policy number
- License plate number
- Name and contact details (phone number, home address, email ID, etc.)
- The place where the accident occurred
Most car accident lawyers recommend that you should not discuss anything with other drivers. It is best to seek legal representation for car accidents before discussing or commenting on the facts with other drivers.
It is because the insurance company might use anything you say against you to reject your claims. Therefore, you should hire an attorney for motor vehicle accidents and discuss your case with them.
- Document the Entire Scene of the Accident
Apart from collecting the doctors’ reports, medical certificates, and other drivers’ information, you should document the entire scene of the accident. It entails taking pictures of the accident scene and your vehicle.
Furthermore, if there are any bystanders at the place of the collision, then take their contact information as well. Additionally, you should also note down the information of the passengers or any other party involved in the accident.
Most importantly, don’t forget to take pictures of the entire scene, including the vehicle from different angles. These photos will allow the lawyer for auto accidents to make a strong and compelling case when negotiating for the compensation of your damages.
- Notify Your Insurance Company
Lastly, you should inform your insurance company about the accident as soon as possible. Contact them through their helpline or via their app (if they have one) to report the events of the accident. Informing them about the accident will help you learn how you can file a claim for your damages.
The representatives of your insurance company will provide you with complete guidance to process your claim and what to expect during the entire process. The insurer might also arrange a towing truck for your car to a certified body shop. The technicians can assess the damages for your claim.
The Bottom Line
Even professional drivers might go into a state of shock after an accident. They might be frazzled after an accident and wouldn’t know what to do. Nevertheless, the steps in this article can help you from having any unnecessary worries.
Also, having proper legal representation is vital in matters pertaining to a car accident. So, consulting a lawyer for automobile accidents is best since they can understand your case and provide you proper guidance. What’s more, they can deal with the insurance company on your behalf while you recover and protect your interests in all possible ways.