There are certain steps one should follow after they get into a car accident. Taking these steps will help ensure you abide by the state law, allow the stress-free filing of the insurance claim, and, most importantly, make sure that everyone comes out safe.
Getting into a car crash can be stressful. Insurance companies don’t make things easier. So it is essential to educate yourself on how you can protect yourself after getting into a car accident. Filing a car accident injury claim with the help of a lawyer can help you protect your rights and obtain fair compensation for your losses.
The steps below will help you make informed decisions after the car crash has happened, whether you’re the motorist responsible for causing the accident or whether you’re the innocent driver.
Don’t leave the scene
Leaving the accident scene before the police arrive is illegal. The legislation states you must stay where the accident occurred if the accident led to someone getting hurt or if there was a vehicle that was damaged. It’s illegal to hit and run in any state, and it’s an offense that carries hefty criminal implications. Be cautious and stay safe by not going anywhere until the authorities arrive.
Get to a safe spot
If your car is in a dangerous spot that might cause more harm to everyone else on the road, you must get to a safe place by moving your vehicle out of harm’s way. Move to a nearby parking space or the emergency lane if you can. Once you’ve confidently done this, check to ensure those people involved in the crash aren’t hurt. Start with the people in your car, and then go ensure other motorists are unharmed.
As you wait for authorities to reach the scene of the crash, ask the other people involved whether you can exchange insurance information. The legislation dictates that motorists need to exchange information at the site of the accident.
Don’t rely on the authorities to get this information later, because sometimes they will not. And sometimes, even in cases where the lead investigating officer gets every driver’s contact information, you might still need the crash report to be released before you can get those details, which can take up to 10 business days at times.
Contact the Police
Call 911 and report the crash. Do not rely on the other motorist to report the incident. The other driver involved may also try to convince you not to call 911 by mentioning the lack of physical damage to the vehicles, their driving history, or their insurance rates, but it’s important to contact the authorities to safeguard your health and that of the others involved in the crash.
The police officer will investigate the factors that led to the crash and determine who was at fault. Any citations the officer issues will help a lawyer seek compensation for the innocent parties hurt in the accident.
Seek medical attention
If you feel any new sensations or pain after the car crash, even if it’s something as small as a headache or lightheadedness, ask for an ambulance to take you to the hospital. After surviving a traffic collision, you must receive medical attention as soon as possible. In addition, certain life-threatening health complications, like concussions, bone fractures, and internal bleeding, may not show up until much later on. However, they can be found during the initial medical assessments if you see a doctor after the crash.
Additionally, the medical documentation linked to your car accident injury claim will describe your injury’s mechanism and evidence your grievances, in turn, allowing you to establish the right to compensation. After being discharged, keep your medical records because your lawyer will want to have a look at them.