Getting involved in a car crash is the last thing you want to imagine as a driver. The thought of what could possibly happen and the kind of frustration, it would put you and your loved ones through – is not a pleasant one. But hey, let’s face it; accidents don’t come knocking on anyone’s door. It just happens and the best thing you can do is to take measures to improve your safety while on the road and get informed on how to handle the situation in case it ever occurs to you.
Talk of injuries, vehicle damage, property damage, and even fatalities, there’s a lot that could happen after an accident. In the latter, car accidents, according to 2013 statistics and infographics from the World Health Organization, about 1.24 million deaths occur as a result of road accidents, which is a leading cause of death, especially for people aged between 15 and 29. When it comes to injuries and resulting disabilities, the numbers are even higher. This doesn’t have to scare you off the road though. Remember the part where we mentioned that it’s better to be informed? Well, in a stepwise approach, here are 8 crucial things you should do after being involved in a car crash.
1. See if you’re hurt
Above all the rest, your safety and well being are what matter most after a car crash. Check to see if you’re injured first before anything else. In case you’re badly injured, try not to move and call for help from passersby or dial 911 if there are no witnesses at the scene.
2. Check on your passengers or other accident victims
Assuming that your injuries are mild or you’re not injured, it’s only noble to check on the well-being of the other accident victims if any. These could be passengers in your car or in the other car in case it’s a collision. Call for help as soon as you can if anyone is injured.
3. Pull your car to safety
After the accident, you may find that your car is able to move. If so, it is only prudent to get it off the main road to ensure your safety as well as the safety of other road users. If it’s badly damaged and can’t move, you’ll need to leave it there and call for help. While at it, you can consider displaying an accident reflective sign if you have one.
4. Call a lawyer
In most, if not all places, motor vehicle insurance is a legal requirement before you can put your vehicle on the road. Auto insurance is supposed to protect you from liability, cover the costs of treatment as well as medical costs and compensation for lost income depending on the policy you carry. However, car accidents and personal injury compensation claims are not always easy to handle on your own. If you have been in a car accident, Justin Kimball from www.preszlerlaw-ns.com says that it is best to speak with a personal injury lawyer right away since delaying this process may look bad in court. This is because depending on the complexity of the occurrence, you may have to sue the other driver, their insurance company or your own policy provider for compensation. An experienced personal injury attorney or car accident lawyer can help determine the value of the case and assist you to get fairly compensated.
5. Call the police
Whether it’s just a minor fender-bender or a severe road crash, it is of essence to call law enforcement as soon as you can. The police report will come in handy at a later date when you’re claiming compensation or you’re trying to absolve yourself from fault.
6. Collect important details of the accident
You may not be in a position to do this after the accident, but if you’re able to, it is highly important to document the accident as much as you can. You could take pictures, identify the other vehicle you were in an accident with, note the other driver’s (and passengers) names, and collect contact information of witnesses at the scene if any. These could all count as admissible evidence in court in case it comes to the point where you have to file a lawsuit.
7. Exchange info
If the accident is a collision with another vehicle, you’ll want to exchange crucial info with the other driver. Some important details you’ll want to give and get may include the following:
- The accident’s location
- Names and contacts of the other driver
- Vehicle type, color, and model
- Their insurance provider’s details, including policy number
- Driver’s license number
- License plate number
8. Inform the respective insurance provider/s
Upon ensuring that you’re safe, calling your lawyer, reporting to the police, and getting proper treatment, you’ll want to contact your insurance company or that of the other driver and inform them about the accident. This is where you’ll start your auto insurance claim process with the assistance of your attorney.
Car accidents are a nightmare that could catch up with anyone on the road. Moreover, the aftermath can be even more frustrating. With proper assistance and the right information on what to do, however, navigating the aftermath of a car accident can be less agonizing. The above are some of the most important things you need to do to make this happen.