More than six million automobile accidents annually in the United States. Fortunately, the majority of accidents result in only property damage. However, 33% of car accidents involve some injury to the driver or passengers.
Out of that 33%, two of every ten accidents result in fatal injuries. Regardless of the type of injuries or property damage, victims need a car accident attorney to protect their rights. In addition to contacting a car accident lawyer, here are the top 10 things to do when you are in a car accident.
Do not drive away from the scene, even if the accident is minor.
2. Protect The Scene
Depending on the severity of the crash, you can prevent more injuries by using flares or your emergency lights for protection. Keep a flashlight in your car just in case your lights don’t work. This will help to keep you safe in the dark.
3. Contact Law Enforcement
Even if you don’t suspect serious injuries, it is prudent to contact the police. Many insurance companies want a police report filed with a claim. This is true even for vehicle damage with no personal injuries. Keep the vehicles where they are, unless they obstruct traffic.
4. Keep An Accurate Record
When law enforcement arrives, tell the officer what happened as best you can. Do not speculate or guess. Tell the officer only the facts that you know. If the officer asks if you are injured and you are unsure, say so. Many times, pain and injuries from car accidents become apparent after the collision.
5. Take Pictures
Take your smartphone or a camera and take pictures of the car and the damage. Be sure to get the license plate in the picture when possible. If you have noticeable injuries, take photos of those. Do not interfere with any law enforcement investigation. If you cannot take photos at the scene, take them as soon as possible.
6. Exchange Information With The Other Driver
Usually, the police will gather this information. However, if law enforcement does not respond, you should collect the name, address, and phone number of all people involved. This means the other driver and passengers.
Also, get the insurance information. Many times, it is easiest to snap a photo of the insurance card. If witnesses saw the accident, get their information if possible. If law enforcement does respond, the officer will usually give all drivers involved with the police report number. Keep that number handy.
7. Report The Accident
Let your insurance company know as soon as possible. Many insurance companies require immediate notification and your cooperation. Check if you pay extra for medical benefits. If so, you should use those benefits.
You may be required to submit accident-related medical invoices to your insurance carrier. This type of coverage is called medpay, and it pays your medical bills until benefits are exhausted. Then your health insurance becomes the payor. Medpay benefits may be available to all passengers in the car.
8. Seek Medical Attention
Many times, injuries resulting from car accidents are not immediately noticeable. Many victims report feeling the worst of the pain a day or two after a vehicle accident. Unless absolutely sure, you should go to a local emergency room for medical attention or see your family doctor.
Even minor accidents can cause severe and permanent injury. If this happens to your spinal cord, you may face months of medical treatments. If you felt dazed or lost consciousness after an accident, you may have a concussion or other head injury. This may result in behavioral and cognitive changes if not treated appropriately.
9. Keep Your Records Organized
Keep all the accident-related records and information organized and together. This includes the claim number, names, and numbers of all contacts, contact information on the claim adjuster and all receipts for rental cars and expenses that result from the accident.
10. Protect Your Rights
The most crucial action you can take after a vehicular accident is to contact a lawyer. Your lawyer will work to protect your rights and ensure that key evidence remains intact and not destroyed. Many times, insurance companies want statements right after a crash. You should have legal counsel before giving any comments.
Your attorney can provide you with guidance and counsel to ensure that you are fully compensated for the car as well as any medical treatment you receive. Personal injury lawyers will often work on a contingency fee basis. This means you pay no legal fees unless and until the attorney recovers any compensation for your property damage and personal injuries.
If you are interested in even more lifestyle-related articles and information from us here at Bit Rebels, then we have a lot to choose from.