Step-By-Step Guide to Follow After an Auto Accident
Accidents are sudden and unfortunate events that can strike anyone. The moments of confusion and shock lead us into hastily made decisions we would not have made otherwise. In cases where the other driver is being negligent and causes damage and personal injury, it is essential that you follow specific steps to protect your rights.
Following is a guide to be followed step-by-step to avoid any claim and ease you through the unfortunate events.
1. Bring Your Vehicle to Safety
The first thing to do after being in an accident is to move your vehicle to a safe position. Often a car accident can leave your vehicle in the middle of the road which may pose an immediate threat to the ongoing traffic. If your car is in a hazardous spot, it is advised to move it into a safe place while you wait for the police to arrive. It is recommended that you keep your vehicle in the same position it was in after the accident. However, for public safety and to prevent any further damage to your and passersby’s vehicles, bring your car into a safe position.
2. Be Careful About the Statements You Make
The moment’s right after the accidents is very crucial. If you have been in an accident or heard stories from someone been in one, you must have heard how things you say after the accident can be turned and twisted. Whatever you say during this time is being noted and observed by the witnesses around you and also the other involved party in the accident.
Be wary of what you say to anyone at this moment. What you say holds a lot of importance at this time. So, don’t say anything that can be turned against you. It is also essential that you don’t admit to the accident. If you admit fault, even if you were only being sympathetic towards the other person, it can have serious repercussions. The officers might hold you accountable for the accident. So, a smart move is to stay quiet and not admit to anything unless your lawyer is with you.
3. Gather Information About the Other Involved Party
If you are a victim in the accident and have suffered significant damage to your car and your health, it is crucial that you gather as much information as you can about the other driver and witnesses around you at that time. The information you gather is vital in filing a substantial claim for your damages.
The necessary information you will require is to get a copy of the driver’s license, the vehicle registration number, and contact information so you can get in contact afterwards. It is also important that you exchange insurance details with the person so that both of you are set for answering any questions while filing the claim for the collision.
4. Document the Scene of Accident with Photos
Gathering information about the scene of the accident is essential and will assist you when you will be dealing with the police claim. The information is of high value as it will be used to prove negligence on the other person’s part.
The documents that will help your case are the ones regarding the law signs around the scene of the accident. It is wise to take pictures of any traffic lights or any stop signs around the place. Take pictures of other law-related signs and boards that can prove the carelessness of the other driver. Also, if the car was speeding, then there will be skid marks on the road leading to the accident. The marks show an attempt to stop a speeding car immediately before it hit the other car. Another thing you may want to document is the weather conditions of the day. Rain and slippery roads are among the top reasons that cause an accident. This also proves negligence by the other person when driving in such weather.
Photos will aid you in building a solid case against the other person at fault and set you free of any liabilities.
5. Seek Medical Attention
This is another important thing you should take care of right after the accidents. An accident can have adverse effects on your health. It can range from severe injuries like a broken bone to minor injuries like scratches and cuts. Also, a collision can sometimes cause a concussion, which can be extremely dangerous for you.
Your physical and mental health being after an accident is the number one priority. After the accident, get checked up by a medical professional and document any or all injuries sustained. Get a medical report which will be used in the report for the police.
If you have suffered any serious injuries, then you will be unable to take the previous steps and the medical attention is of utmost importance. Also, don’t try to settle any claims by yourself at this point. Medical procedures like MRI and other treatment can be costly. Ask your lawyer to settle the claim for you and ask the negligent party to cover up any expenses that you will have to bear.
6. Call a Lawyer
Calling a lawyer is extremely important in an accident. It might not seem as important initially but as the police report and insurance claims get processed, you will realize their legal implications. Also, without any legal knowledge, you can be forced into accepting fault. Therefore, one of your top priorities is to contact a personal injury lawyer who has experience dealing with accidents. The confusion after the accident can cloud your judgment and a lawyer will help you out in getting through the case.
A lawyer will assist you in proving a duty of care and negligence by the other party. Lawyers will take the legal route into making a case that will get you off the hook and aid you in settling all the claims.
If you or any of your loved one has been in an accident, call a lawyer and seek the much-needed guidance in your time of need.