On average every year 4.4 million people suffer injuries from a car accident.
Each time you get into your vehicle, you have to drive cautiously and carefully to avoid an accident. But do you know what to do if you are involved in a car accident?
It’s no doubt a stressful experience, especially when there are injuries involved. But don’t worry, we’re here to walk you through the 5 most important steps to take during a vehicle accident.
Keep reading to find out those key steps to save you headaches later on!
1. Assess the Car Accident
The first thing you’ll want to do when you get in a car accident is to assess the situation.
Take the time to make sure you and your passengers are safe and in one piece. Take note of any aches and pains so that you can clock injuries.
Once you’ve done that, carefully pull off to the side of the road if you are able to safely do so. You may get out of the vehicle if you are not severely injured and it is safe.
Take a look at your vehicle and the damage, while doing the same with the other party.
You may approach the other driver and check if they are okay but here is a key piece of information you don’t want to miss out on. Under no circumstance should you apologize or take any blame for the accident. This is important for two reasons.
One, if you apologize it can be taken as an admission of guilt and in the event, the other parties decide to sue you, this won’t go in your favor.
2. Report the Accident
Once you’ve finished assessing the situation and check-in on the other party, you will need to report the accident.
If it’s an emergency, make sure you call 9-1-1 so that the proper service can come to the scene. Otherwise, you can phone your local police department directly to let them know there’s an accident.
This is especially important so that they can properly direct traffic if you’re unable to move as well as opening up a case file about the accident.
The police will then direct you on the steps you’ll need to take to record your case number and making a statement. Don’t lose that case number as you’ll need it later!
3. Document Everything
We cannot stress this enough. Document. Every. Single. Thing.
Not only will you need all the information for your car insurance, but you will also need this if you decide to go to court. It’s also much easier to recall the events if you have them documented.
The thing you will want to do is take photos of your vehicle and the other party’s vehicle. Take photos of the damage, their license plate, and also their driver’s license, insurance, and vehicle registration. It will be much easier than writing it down.
Take photos of the accident scene as well and the street signs if there are any. This will be indisputable proof if you ever need it.
If there are witnesses make sure you get all their information in case you need to get in touch with them or if your insurance company will need it.
Note the time and date of the accident as well. This may seem silly, but it’s very easy to forget small details like this.
4. Contact a Car Accident Lawyer
We strongly recommend you get in touch with a car accident lawyer immediately after your accident. We recommend you do this even before contacting your insurance company so that they can assist you with the right things to say.
You want to make sure you’re getting all the coverages and benefits you legally deserve after an accident which is why getting professionals to help is important.
They will also help advise you if you want to pursue legal claims against the other party for damages, or if the other party wants to sue you.
Attempting these cases in court by yourself is not advised if you’re not an expert in the legal field.
You can end up doing more damage than good for yourself and end up with either a lower monetary reward or end up paying more money to the other party than you should without a lawyer.
Even contacting a car accident lawyer for their advice is better than attempting anything on your own.
5. Phone Your Insurance Company
Once you’ve contacted a lawyer, you will phone your car insurance company.
You will be asked to provide almost all the information you collected in the earlier step along with retelling your version of events of the car accident. This is where you’ll provide them the other drivers’ info, specifically their insurance information, and the police report that was filed.
The insurance company will let you know about the coverages available for you and your vehicle for any repairs and if you require any medical aid like physiotherapy or chiropractic services.
Pay attention to what they tell you and make notes of the discussions, you can even ask them for an email summary of the discussion so that it’s all in writing directly from them.
Your insurance provider will walk you through the steps of the claim process and any additional information they may require from you. They will also be your touchpoint from here on out on the status of your claim.
Don’t be shy to call them and check in on the status of your claim as they may not contact you for a while.
Important Steps Following a Car Accident
When a car accident happens, it’s easy to go blank and not know what to do. It’s a stressful experience for everyone! This is why we’ve provided you with only 5 steps to take following your car accident so that you’re not overwhelmed with information.
Stay safe on the road, and remember to document everything!
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Danny White is a freelance writer who offers to ghostwrite, copywriting, and blogging services. He works closely with B2C and B2B businesses providing digital marketing content that gains social media attention and increases their search engine visibility.