Things You Need to Do After a Car Accident
You’re nearing the speed limit at the highway. The car you’re competing with is still speeding forward and your ego wants you to keep up. With a swift movement of your hands, you put the car into the next gear and press the throttle in full, as if to awaken the raging beast inside your car. This is more than just a clash between two random strangers on the highway to find out who can drive better.
With great panache, you overtake your opponent, passing the speed limit in the process, only to find out that there is a sharp turn ahead. It is far too late for you to take any evasive action, and all you can do is to minimize the damage. Crash! In goes your car rolling into the barriers on the side of the road. Boom! There is a second collision and your opponent crashes behind you. If the first collision was nasty, the second one was even nastier. The scene is ugly: you get out of the damaged car with blood pouring from your forehead. Your opponent has suffered even more injuries. While you already regret speeding so fast on the highway, what you regret more is not having prior knowledge about the things you need to do after a car accident.
To make sure that you’re not found wanting after a car accident, here we mention just some of the things you should do after getting into a car accident. Regardless of whether it is your fault or not, accidents are inevitable. Over six million accidents occur each year in the United States and more than one-third of these accidents lead to personal injury. Know your options the next time you’re involved in such a mess by reading this helpful article.
The first and perhaps the most valuable tip we can give you is to stop. You might be lured into running away from the scene, even if it is a minor accident. But don’t do that as it might aggravate the situation further. We have seen numerous cases where drivers who weren’t at fault for an accident were penalized because they ran away. Whatever you’re in a hurry for can be delayed. Remain calm and try not to make a run for it.
Call the Police
There are major accidents and minor accidents. While it is almost necessary to call the police during a major accident, we believe you should also call them over even after a minor accident. Regardless of what kind of accident it is, you will need a police report by your side for filing an insurance claim with your insurance company. The vehicles involved in the accident should preferably remain on the spot of the accident, unless they are diverting traffic, in which case you can pull them over to a side if they can still be driven.
Present an Accurate Record
Once you have called the police, everything you say can be used against you in the future. Present an accurate perspective of the accident so that you’re sure no evidence will go against you. Even if you were at fault for the accident, clarify your perspective and fault. Don’t try to twist facts and figures to appear as the victim. This will increase the penalty, if any, imposed on you. If you’re unsure about something, mention it. Do not speculate, guess, or make assumptions about the course of events that led to the accident.
Proceedings in the court of law work with evidence. Regardless of the nature and gravity of the accident, remember to take pictures immediately after. Cover all the damaged areas in your car and the other car. Also cover any personal injuries that have been suffered by the drivers or the passengers. If you’re too busy to take pictures immediately after, do take them as soon as possible after the accident.
Typically, the investigating officer assigned to your case would play the role of a mediator and gather information from all of those involved in the accident. However, if the police aren’t involved, you will have to take the initiative and exchange information with all of the people involved within the accident. You should preferably gather data, including name, telephone number, and address, from all the persons involved. Also, try to obtain information regarding their insurance policies and see the insurance card of other vehicle(s) involved in the accident.
These details can come in handy for your attorney as the case is taken to the court of law. However, if the police are involved, all necessary information can be obtained through a police report number your investigation officer will hand over to you.
Notify Insurance Company
You should preferably notify your insurance company as soon as the accident happens. Your insurance company would want to look at all the details of the accidents so that they can start processing the claim. It is best that you clarify your position in front of your attorney so that you’re sure that the insurance company doesn’t trick you into a smaller claim. Study your policy in detail and know all that is applicable within the insurance.
Seek Medical Attention
This is a must if you’ve suffered a major accident. In most cases, most of our clients aren’t able to feel the impact of the injuries until a day or two after the accident. This is when the body warms up, and they’re able to feel the pain inflicted on them. If the injury is a visible one, then you should head to a medical facility immediately and get it treated at the earliest. Also, have a general physician diagnose you so that you’re clear about all bodily injuries suffered, as they will be included within the police report.
At Cherry Injury Law, our auto accident lawyer in PA will negotiate aggressively for you and help bring you the best possible outcome after every accident.