Over five million car accidents happen in the United States every year. Fortunately, most of them are not fatal; it’s mostly damage to the car. However, one in three accidents may require a car wreck attorney.
When you get into a car or motorcycle accident, there are specific steps you need to take to ensure you are safe and everyone else who was in the car. Follow the law and ensure you get your entitled insurance claim.
Taking the proper steps after an accident may help you not turn the issue into a worse situation than it already is. Furthermore, you want to ensure that you get all your dues from the insurance company. Anything you do wrong may be used against you later when trying to get the insurance company to pay.
Here are essential steps you should take after you are involved in a car accident.
Determine whether anyone in the car is hurt or needs help
Never leave the scene of your accident, even if you think it’s a minor accident. Your priority is safety. Ensure everyone is safe, including the occupants of the other vehicle and the other driver too.
If anyone needs medical help, call for assistance immediately. Call 911 as soon as possible you never know. You might save someone’s life by getting them help on time.
Get yourself and the car out of danger.
If the accident was a minor one and you are not injured, carefully remove your car from the road and park it on the side of the road to avoid obstructing traffic. Ensure to keep your hazards light on, set up reflective triangles or flares to alert other drivers on the road to slow down.
However, if the car accident was severe and you were severely hurt, it’s advisable to leave the vehicles on the road as they are. Even if you feel the accident was minor, take extra caution when getting out of the car immediately after the accident. This is especially if the accident took place on a busy street or the highway.
After an accident, you may be dazed and not thinking logically, putting yourself in more danger. Some people go into shock after an accident. They may think they didn’t get hurt and try to leave the car, which can be dangerous for their health because you may have a head injury, internal bleeding, or even an injury that you are unaware of because of the aftershock of the accident. It is safe to say you should not move too quickly after a car accident.
Call the police
While it is essential to call the police in case of an accident, most of the time, police may respond to the scene of an accident. When the police arrive at the accident scene, ensure you note down the police officer’s name, note down their badge number, and their contact information.
It’s also essential to remember that you should get a copy of the accident report from the police responding to your case. If the police don’t come, you can get the report from their law enforcement office. Nowadays, some police departments are adapting online reporting instead of dedicating resources and going to the crime scene.
Collect important information
Use your camera to take pictures of everything such as the documents, the driver’s license number, contact details, address of everyone involved in the accident. You can also put down all the information in a notebook. If the other driver’s name is not the same as the vehicle’s registration number or the insurance papers, ensure you determine the driver’s relationship to the car owner.
Next, gather the other vehicles details such as year of manufacture, license plate number, color, make and model, and vehicle identification number. Remember also to get the insurance contact information of the other vehicle in case the driver doesn’t report the accident. Also, check to see if witnesses saw the accident and ask them if they are willing to provide information and evidence about what they saw.
Never share your insurance coverage limits, social security number, or any personal information with anyone.
Take videos of the scene and record everything you can about the scene of the accident. Use your phone’s camera. Record the time and date of the accident. Take close and all-around videos and pictures of where your car was hit. If it was at the front, back, or driver’s side, record all that in your phone.
Sometimes the position of the cars is essential because it helps the adjuster recreate the accident scene when you report your claim. Also, note down the direction each car was heading and the street or name of the road you were in. All these are essential details you will provide your personal injury lawyer or insurance company during your case.
Call your insurance company.
The other driver may try to offer you a roadside deal, and while that may be tempting, always notify your insurance company of the accident. Failure to do so you may be liable for damage from the accident.
If the other driver’s insurance cannot pay for your damages, your insurance may work out with their professional’s how-to address the issue.
Most insurance companies even have apps where you can even start your claims process online. The insurance company will ask for many details and may even have a prompt on the app to inspect the vehicle. Some insurance companies may also send a tow truck, provide a rental car or even arrange roadside assistance through the app.
Some of these steps may help get your claim from the insurance companies. Be proactive and always designate a place in your car where you keep your car details and insurance details. Also, remember to see a doctor once you are done recording and taking down the details of the scene of the accident. Some injuries are not so obvious the day of the accident but maybe prominent after a day or two. Get checked by a doctor to ensure you are fine.