Car accidents can be a traumatic experience for everyone involved. The collision’s impact can cause severe to fatal injuries, and it may even pose additional hazards to other commuters. While you may count yourself lucky to survive one, a car accident involves a lengthy process that takes considerable time and effort on your part.
You need to do several things if you get involved in an accident, especially if other persons are injured or dead from the crash. Should you find yourself in this situation in the future, keeping calm after the incident and ensuring it is adequately documented can help you in the process of securing insurance claims, or if you plan to pursue a personal injury case.
What To Do After The Crash
- For minor accidents, move the car to the side of the road and out of traffic to keep other commuters safe.
- Turn on hazard lights and use early warning devices (cones, warning triangles, or flares) to signal other drivers to avoid the accident area.
- Check if you have injuries. If you have passengers, check if they, too, have injuries, no matter how small they may seem.
- Call 911 or your local emergency service. Request for an ambulance to have the injured transported to the nearest hospital. Provide your name and location, as well as a brief description of what happened.
- Call the police to report the incident.
- Gather information. Collect information about the persons and vehicles involved in the incident. This includes the other driver’s name and contact details, their driver’s license number, insurance companies, and policy numbers. You also need to record the make and model of the car and its plate number.
You can also take photos of the scene and the vehicles involved to show the extent of damages and demonstrate what type of car collision occurred. You may also take photos of the extent of your injuries and how these affected your life. Such documentation will substantiate your claims and serve as evidence should you pursue a personal injury case.
- File a claim. Contact your insurance provider within one to two days after the accident. It’s crucial that you inform them of the crash or, else, they’ll forfeit your claims. Only include information relevant to the claim, such as doctor evaluation and vehicle damage assessments.
- Consult a car accident lawyer. They’re essential with these types of personal injury cases. A Huntington Beach law firm or anywhere in the world can obtain additional evidence to establish that the other driver’s reckless behavior caused the accident. They can also assess your claims and help you obtain rightful compensation for your injuries.
- Report the crash to the authorities. In the absence of a police responder at the crime scene, some states may require the driver or a representative to file a written report of the accident.
Section 20008 of the California Vehicle Code requires a written report filed at the California Highway Patrol within 24 hours. If there are persons injured or killed due to the crash, you need to write a report at the city’s police department where the crash occurred.
The driver reports it to the DMV within ten days if it caused injury, death, or property damage amounting to USD$1,000.
- Maintain correspondence. Keep a record of all communications related to the incident. These include emails or letters sent by your insurer and your lawyers. You can also obtain a copy of your medical records and hospital bills. These can form the basis of your claims should the other party’s insurance adjuster provide you with an offer.
You can keep track of your negotiations with the other party’s insurer. If the negotiations fail, you can decide to go to court and use these correspondences to build your case and strengthen your claim.
Car accidents can be traumatic events, especially if they cause injuries or, worse, death. If you find yourself in one, you would need to prioritize your own and others’ safety by seeking medical attention immediately. You also need to notify the authorities regarding the crash so police officers can take a look at the scene and make a report.
After the accident, inform your insurance provider of the crash. Ensure you obtain a copy of your medical record and keep your medical bills as they are essential for your injury claims and vehicle damage assessments.
You also need to consult with a personal injury lawyer to help you with your insurance claims. If negotiations fail, you can rely on their competence to help you obtain compensation for your injuries and vehicle damage.