6 Things You Need To Do After a Car Accident
No one ever hits the road expecting to have an accident. However, road traffic accidents are on the rise. Every year, about six million accidents occur in the United States, often resulting in extensive property damage and personal injury to the driver or passengers.
In the aftermath of an accident, people are generally not in the state of mind to process things clearly and make the right decisions. That's why it's critical to have an idea of what to do if you are even involved in an accident. Here are some tips to remember if it ever happens to you.
Don't Drive Away
There may be temptation to continue driving after being involved in a car accident, especially when your actions may have directly or indirectly contributed to the accident. Always wait at the scene of the accident until the authorities show up, even if it's a minor accident.
Contact Your Lawyer
Another vital thing to do after an accident is to consult with a lawyer. It is your lawyer's duty to protect your rights and ensure that evidence is not destroyed.
Insurance companies will want to take statements immediately after the accident, but it is crucial to have your lawyer present before giving your statement. Your lawyer can also give you legal counsel regarding the insurance system in your state. Some states have a no-fault insurance system, while others have liability coverage.
Call the Police
Don't be alarmed with this tip, calling the police after an accident is one of the most important things you can do. For one, they can help direct traffic, if necessary, and help manage the situation. Another reason is because they will need to prepare a police report.
The report will come in handy when you file a claim with your insurance company. All vehicles involved in the accident should remain at the scene until the police arrive. When giving your statement to the police, do not leave any details out. Withholding information from the police is a crime.
Take Pictures as Evidence
While waiting for the police to show up, you should take pictures of the scene to document what happened, especially if there is visible damage to your vehicle. Also take photos and note significant details about the area, including the intersection and any other vehicles involved in the accident. When the police arrive, avoid interrupting the police investigation and stay a safe distance from the incident.
Contact Your Insurance Company
There is a myth that you are not required to contact your insurance company after a car accident if you were not at fault. This is not true. Many insurance policies require immediate reporting and cooperation to make a claim.
There are certain coverages on your insurance policy that you may need to use, and you might be required to make a statement. In such cases, it is important to follow the advice of your lawyer.
Always Seek Medical Attention
Despite how you feel after the accident, you should always seek medical attention. Some injuries caused by car accidents are not immediately noticeable until a day or two later. You could sustain a permanent injury to your spinal cord even if the impact was minor. See your family physician or visit the nearest hospital as soon as you can, or if any symptoms appear in the days and weeks following the accident.
Being involved in a car accident can be a very traumatic experience. As much as no one anticipates such occurrences, knowing what to do in such a situation is necessary. Keep these tips in mind if you are ever involved in an accident, to protect yourself, your health and your financial outcome.