According to World Health Organization (WHO), millions die in road accidents yearly. It has been reported that 1.35 million people die annually from car accidents. And in the United States alone, about 38,000 people die yearly from car crashes.
The sad thing is that many of these accidents were preventable. They were caused by human error, such as speeding, driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol, or simply not paying attention to the road. Knowing what to do after a car accident is essential to protecting yourself and your rights. Here are the things you need to do:
Check for injuries
The first thing to do is to check for injuries. If you or anyone else has been injured, call for medical help immediately. Do not try to move an injured person unless it is essential. Once you have called for help, wait for the arrival of the ambulance.
While waiting, do not discuss the accident with anyone. The insurance company will likely try to use anything you say against you. As of now, focus on getting the medical help you or the other person needs.
Call the police
Even if there are no injuries, you should still call the police. They will come to the scene of the accident and file a report. This report will be critical later when dealing with your insurance company. It will also be helpful if you need to file a personal injury lawsuit.
The police can also help with traffic control. And if the accident was caused by someone else’s negligence, the police will likely issue a ticket to that person.
Call your lawyer
Calling your auto accident attorney is the next step you should take. They will advise you on what to do and help you deal with the insurance company. Your lawyer will also protect your rights and ensure you are fairly compensated for your injuries or damages. They will also ensure that the other driver is held accountable for their actions.
Many insurance companies will try to take advantage of you if you do not have a lawyer. They will lowball you on your settlement or deny your claim altogether. Do not let them take advantage of you. Protect yourself by calling a lawyer as soon as possible after the accident.
Document the accident
Once you have called for help and contacted your lawyer, it is time to document the accident. If you have a camera, take pictures of the damage to both vehicles. Be sure to get close-up shots and photographs of the overall scene. Taking photos of any injuries you or the other driver has suffered is also a good idea.
If there are witnesses, get their contact information and ask them to write down what they saw. This will be helpful later if you need to prove that the other driver was at fault.
You will need to exchange information with the other driver. Get their name, contact information, insurance company, and policy number. You should also get their car’s make, model, and license plate number. If they refuse to give you this information, let the police know.
You will also need to provide the other driver with your information. Give them your name, contact information, and the insurance company. Do not discuss who was at fault for the accident. That is something that should be left for the police to determine. And do not sign anything without consulting your lawyer first.
Get a copy of the accident report
An accident report contains important information about the accident. It will have the driver’s and witnesses’ contact information, as well as a description of what happened. Be sure to get a copy of the report from the police. This will be helpful when dealing with your insurance company.
Your lawyer will most likely ask you for a copy of the accident report. So be sure to get one as soon as possible. Do not leave the scene of the accident until you have a copy of the report in hand.
File an insurance claim
The next thing to do is to file an insurance claim. Your insurance company will need all the information about the accident, including the police report, pictures, and witness statements. They will also need a copy of your medical records if you were injured in the accident.
Your insurance company will then investigate the accident and determine who was at fault. Once they have done this, they will either approve or deny your claim. If they deny your claim, you can appeal their decision. But it is best to have a lawyer handle this for you.
The bottom line
A car accident can be a traumatizing experience. But it is important to know what to do in the aftermath. Be sure to call the police, your lawyer, and your insurance company. And document the accident as best you can. This will help you get the compensation you deserve.