As you head out the door and get in your car, an accident is likely the last thing on your mind. However, the average driver will experience at least three accidents, so it’s important to be prepared.
There are steps you should take before an accident, as well as immediately following the crash. Follow these guidelines to ensure you are prepared and protected.
Are You Prepared for an Accident?
Be proactive to ensure that you are well-equipped in the event of an accident. First and foremost, make sure you have good automobile insurance coverage. The stakes are too big to risk driving without insurance. It’s mandatory in all but two states, but more importantly, it can protect you if you make a mistake or are the victim of somebody else’s mistake.
Also, do you always carry the necessary documents with you when you are driving? The police will likely ask to see your driver’s license, vehicle registration, and proof of insurance. Keep these documents in your wallet or glove box so you know right where you can get them.
What Should You Do at the Scene?
Safety is obviously the number priority at the scene of an accident. Check to make sure you aren’t injured, and then check on everyone else. If anyone has sustained a serious injury, do not attempt to move them. Instead, call 911 and wait for professional help.
If injuries don’t appear to be an issue, get off the road as soon as possible. Flashers and traffic cones can help alert oncoming traffic, so take advantage of these precautions if you can.
Next, call the police. Many people only call for help if there is a serious injury, but this is a mistake. Having the police at the scene can be really helpful. These trained professionals can help direct traffic, ensure everyone is safe, keep the situation from escalating, and most importantly, issue a police report. This official document will help you file a claim with your insurance or provide backup if the other party is at fault.
You may also want to collect some information yourself. Take pictures of the scene and every damaged vehicle, including your own. Also, ask the other parties for contact and insurance information. These things will come in handy if you need to file a claim.
Finally, call your insurance provider. Even if the other party is at fault, it’s wise to alert your own insurance agent because the future is unpredictable. The other driver may be uninsured, or their insurance company may refuse to accept liability. Either way, your provider can help you navigate the situation and fight on your behalf.
Do You Need an Attorney?
Whether you are the one at fault or the victim of the other driver’s mistake, contact a car wreck attorney to ensure you have the necessary legal representation and protection. Car accidents can involve expensive repairs and injuries, and with so much at stake, it doesn’t make sense to proceed on your own. Having a trained professional in your corner provides peace of mind and critical legal protection.
Being involved in an automobile accident is not something you want or expect. However, it pays to be prepared. Protect yourself by taking the proper steps if you are involved in a collision.