If you are ever in a car accident, it is important that you know exactly what to do. Even though the impact alone can be unsettling and scary too, there are some immediate things that must be done to protect yourself and others around you. That said, here are the proper steps to take after a car accident.
Step 1: Prepare in advance
A little preparation before a vehicle accident can help to save time, while also allowing you to do a thorough job of collecting all of the information that you need. For instance, you can store a written document of these steps in the glove department of your vehicle for easy access. You can use follow these steps after you have made sure that you and everyone involved is safe, secure and out of harm’s way. For instance, in heavy traffic areas, you and your passengers should get out of the vehicle and move to the sidewalk or somewhere near the side of the road. By moving out of the way of traffic, you can prevent other accidents from occurring.
Step 2: Do not leave the scene of the Accident
To protect yourself from being vulnerable to criminal charges after the accident has occurred, it is very important that you do not leave the scene. For instance, the accident should be reported to the police and you need to always remain until the officer gives you the authorization to leave. If not, you may be accused of an hit and run accident.
Step 3: Contact the Police
If the accident that you were in involved serious damage to property, injuries or fatalities, a report of what actually happened must be given to the police. Therefore, you need to contact the police by calling 911. The police will record the information provided by all affected parties so that they can give an official accounting of the series of events in writing.
Step 4: Exchange Information with the Other Driver/Drivers Involved
While you are waiting on the police to arrive, you can take this time to exchange information with the other driver or drivers involved. Here is a briefing of the information that you and your personal injury lawyer will need.
- Driver’s full name and their contact information
- Insurance company name and the driver’s policy number
- The number on the license plate and the Driver’s license number
- The make, model and color of the vehicle
- Accident location
Step 5: Document the Series of Events that Occurred Before, During and After the Car Accident
Before talking to the police officer, you need to make sure that you can provide an accurate account of the events that occurred. For instance, if you were hit from the back, you need to make sure that this information is provided for this report. If at all possible, you can also document these events on paper while the details are still fresh in your mind.
Step 6: Take Photos of the Scene
If you have a good camera available on your mobile phones, it’s relatively easy to take the pictures that you need at a moment’s notice. Therefore, to make sure that you have good support to back up your claim, you should take photos of your vehicle, the other driver’s vehicle, the location where it occurred and any other photos that can be helpful in these types of accidents. These photos may be needed for proof of what occurred later.
Step 7: Contact an Attorney to Represent Your Claim
All of this information should be available as soon as possible so that it can be provided to your personal injury lawyer. Also, if you do not have the name of personal injury attorney that you can contact, it is important that you begin to do your research as soon as possible.
By looking for the best car accident attorney in your area, you will have legal representation that you need to help you obtain the appropriate compensation for the repairs to your vehicle and to pay the medical bills are involved in these situations. You will also need to hire the best accident attorney to handle the insurance companies for you. Since the representative from the insurance company will most likely quote a payment amount to you in order to get you to settle the claim quickly, you need someone who is familiar with this area of the law to keep this and other related problems from happening.