What Should You Do Immediately After A Car Accident
Car accidents can be very traumatic. They can also be very dangerous. If you want to protect your rights (and the rights of others) then there are some things that you need to do immediately following an accident.
In 2019 alone, there were 33,244 fatal motor vehicle crashes in the United States. Even a seemingly minor car accident has the potential to turn fatal. Because of this, they must be taken very seriously. You should always take legal action against a person responsible for causing a car accident, even a minor one.
In this article, you will find out what you should do immediately after a car accident:
Stop Your Vehicle
After an accident, you need to stop your vehicle immediately. It’s an offense not to do so. Turn your engine off, switch your hazard lights on, and check yourself for any injuries. You also need to check your passengers for any injuries. Remain as calm as possible. It’s normal to be shaken and nervous after an accident, but you need to compose yourself. Taking a moment to calm yourself down will prevent you from losing your temper or saying something that you’ll regret, such as admitting fault.
Phone an Ambulance
If somebody involved in the accident is injured, then you need to call an ambulance. Whiplash is an injury that’s commonly caused by car accidents, even minor ones. If the cars involved are not smoking and seriously damaged, then you should ask the injured person to remain in their vehicle and sit up straight. They should stay this way until the ambulance crew arrives. If they are seriously injured, then you should ask the 911 call handler for advice. It’s your duty to phone an ambulance if you or another person is injured.
Phone the Police
It’s also your responsibility to notify the police that an accident has taken place. You can get into trouble for not doing this. If other vehicles involved in the collision have fled the scene, then you need to call the police and report them. This is a crime called hit and run.
Another reason that you should call the police is if you suspect that the other people involved are intoxicated. Drunk driving can be dangerous. Anyone who drives while they’re intoxicated needs to be punished. If it’s a minor accident and you’re just notifying the police, you usually have to do it within 24-hours.
You need to share your name, address, and phone number with everyone involved in the accident. You also need to swap insurance information and details with the other drivers. Ideally, take down the details of any passengers or witnesses as well.
You should also try to find out whether the other drivers involved are the registered owners of their vehicles; if they’re not then you need to get the registered owners’ details. You will need the other driver’s insurance details if you intend on making a claim. If a foreign vehicle has been involved, you still need to take their details and the details of their insurance company.
Contact a Lawyer
Every accident has a statute of limitations. The statute of limitation is the time that you have to make a claim for an accident. If you exceed this time, you can no longer claim. Because of that, the legal professionals from https://the702firm.com/car-accident-lawyer/statute-of-limitations/ say that you need to make your accident claim right away. You can do this by contacting a lawyer. A lawyer will handle every detail of your case for you, from contacting your insurance company to taking the case to court. If you’ve got no legal experience or background in law, then an attorney is an investment into the success of your case. Don’t make the mistake of trying to self-represent.
Record Details at the Scene
At the scene of the accident, you need to record the details of the other drivers; you should take down the make, model, color, and number plate of their vehicles. You should also write down the time, date, and location of the crash. Ideally, you should also write down the weather conditions at the time of the accident (was it raining, stormy, or dry?) Record any injuries sustained by passengers, pedestrians, or drivers. The best way to record details and information at the scene of an accident is by taking photographs or videos. Don’t be shy to whip your camera out and start filming. It’ll benefit you if you need to make a claim later on.
Don’t Admit Anything
As we mentioned earlier, you must never admit anything when you’ve been involved in a car accident. Even if it seems that you were responsible, it’s possible that you were not. No, you must instead allow your attorney to handle everything for you; you must allow them to find out who was responsible. When you admit fault, you can be blamed and ultimately held responsible. This can lead to you having to pay out a lot of money, or your insurance company having to pay out a lot of money which will negatively impact you.
Take Time Off
If you’ve been involved in a serious accident, then you need to take some time off to recuperate. Car accidents can have a detriment to your mental health. They can be very emotionally taxing. If you’ve been involved in one before, then you’ll already know this.
Don’t rush yourself back to work. Instead, take some time to gather yourself together and collect your thoughts. If necessary, then see a doctor. It’s always a good idea to give driving a break after an accident, at least for a week or so. You will probably be very nervous behind a wheel if you rush back into driving.
It’s important that you’re honest with your attorney. While you mustn’t admit fault to anybody else, it’s safe to tell your lawyer that you believe you may have caused the accident. Being honest will help your case to be handled and dealt with fairly.
It’s important that you follow all of the tips and advice we have given here following a car accident. Car accidents can be very serious and thus mustn’t be taken lightly. Thank you for reading.