An accident is defined as an incident that happens unexpectedly. There is a lot that you can do to prevent it but at times it becomes inevitable. It is for times like these that they say; “hope for the best, plan for the worst”. Being aware of the basic steps to perform in case of any untoward incident is the first phase of being prepared for the ‘worst’.
Here are eight things that you should do as soon as you get into an accident:
1. Be a responsible citizen
A road is public property and there are other people using it when you get into a crash. As soon as an incident like this happens, it is your responsibility to ensure that all those involved in the crash are safe. This applies to not only the passengers in your car but the ones in the other vehicle or any pedestrians who might have been in the vicinity. Once you’ve ensured the safety of the people, try to clear the road for the other motorists or warn them to take a diversion beforehand.
2. Call the authorities
One of your first actions in the event of a car accident should be to inform emergency services. The authorities will determine and dispatch the type of assistance that you require. Police and other first responders will help compile a report and also clear the road for other traffic. This reduces the hassles and inconvenience to you and those around you.
3. Get medical attention
This is by far the most important thing to do after a crash. Even if the accident is a minor one, make sure that you get a proper medical examination on yourself and the other people involved. Emergency dispatch will ensure that they send an ambulance and firefighters to the scene depending on the information that you provide them.
Many people make the mistake of ignoring small injuries or assuming that since there are no visible injuries, everything is fine. This could turn out to be false because there are a number of internal injuries like hemorrhage, concussions, fractures or whiplash that might be caused in event of the accident. These injuries are not immediately evident but leaving them unchecked can cause them to elevate.
4. Exchange and obtain information
In case you are safe or in the event that you have performed all the above-mentioned steps, make sure that you collect as much information from the scene as possible. This will help you settle any claims effectively. Document the circumstances, take pictures of important things and write down any details that you feel will be helpful in the future. This is important because it will help you negotiate better and obtain adequate settlement if you decide to file a claim afterward.
5. Inform your insurance company
The earlier the better! Also, it is important that you be extremely honest and straightforward about what happened. Obtain all the relevant details about the case and what would be required to expedite the process from your end. Get a hold of the police report as evidence of who was at fault and how the accident occurred.
Hiding details from your insurer is never a good idea because false claims are hard to defend. Moreover, if the insurer finds out that you falsified any details the consequences will be quite severe including a denial of coverage or suspension of services altogether.
6. Contact an attorney
Attorney David Shiner will protect your best interest and negotiate subsequent settlements. He can advise you on the best way forward and all the precautions that you need to take from then on. Our injury lawyers can detail the step-by-step process of everything that you need to do on the scene, what you have to do after you leave and any other relevant details that might be relevant to the case.
Giving our attorneys a heads up can also help him make the necessary preparations for taking the case forward and dealing with the relevant authorities appropriately.
7. Don’t fall for early settlements
There will be early settlement offers thrown at you from the other side. Insurance companies especially will try to lure you into signing release forms for all the claims. They might even offer you certain monetary initiatives to give up any potential case that you might be considering. Never fall for these strategies. Assess the medical and physical damage extensively. Consult your attorney and the relevant authorities before you accept any settlements.
There are instances where your medical expenses might be more than you initialize realized. If you accept an early settlement there is a high probability that you end up paying all these expenses by yourself which can be a huge inconvenience.
8. Be vigilant and careful
It is important that you keep a close look around for everything that might be happening around you. There can a number of crucial evidence that you miss in the hassle. These can prove to be vital in saving you from hassles in the future. Yes, you might be disturbed and out of focus which is why these guidelines are provided beforehand. The motive is that despite the situation you have to keep a close look around to ensure that none of your actions are out of place. Also, it is important to prevent any actions on part of the other party that might be used against you or that might damage your case.
Car accidents are quite common throughout the United States with more than 6 million auto-related accidents reported each year. The secret to effectively dealing with these situations is to be prepared for what is to come. When you have all the information as well as the necessary contacts at hand, things automatically become simple. The result is that you can navigate the entire process of recovery, repair, and settlement in the most efficient manner possible.