Traffic accidents are the leading cause of death globally. Car accidents are terrifying and can leave you immobilized. A car accident will leave you not thinking clearly.
If you have suffered injuries, all that you can think of is your health and whether you are okay.
While health is a priority, from a legal point of view, you may not know what to do in case of an accident. You should also know what not to do in case of an accident. Whether the accident only resulted in property damage or actual injury, treat every accident the same in terms of caution and protection of your interests.
A Complete Guide on What to Do in Case of an Accident
Accidents are a terrible inconvenience. Once it has happened, you have to act accordingly or things like insurance and personal injury claims could go horribly wrong in the near future.
Here are a few things to do and not do in case of an accident.
1. Safety First
If you are involved in a car accident, check if you still have mobility. Turn on hazard lights. In addition, use cones and warning triangles to secure your safety from an oncoming vehicle.
Call 911 and inform them of an accident and your need for the police and an ambulance.
Confirm if anyone needs medical care, including yourself. If you can, avoid moving the vehicles yourself. Wait for the police before you move anything on the scene of the accident.
Remember that it is your legal obligation to stop your car in case you are in an accident, even if you don’t think you have caused or suffered any damage. Even in a minor accident, the police need to write up a legal accident report.
2. Limit Conversation with the Other Party
While this seems harsh since you have just suffered an accident together, you should avoid conversation with the other party in the accident. Limit your conversation to the police, medical professionals, your lawyer, and the insurance representative.
3. Call Your Lawyer
Before you even speak to your insurance company, it is advisable that you talk to your lawyer. If you talk to your insurance company first, you stand the risk of giving information unintentionally. Some of the information can damage your case.
Having your car wreck lawyer with you will help you go through the process ensuring that you will receive what you need.
4. Never Admit Fault in the Accident or Place Blame
Do not place blame on the other party or anything else that could have caused the accident. In addition, do not accept fault for the accident. Avoid wasting time, and debating on the occurrences with the other drivers.
When talking about the accident ensure you are only discussing it with the police and your lawyer. Having arguments with the people involved could distort the recollection of the accident events. It can cause you to lose critical information.
5. Get the Facts of Your Car Accident
In the havoc of the accident, you could easily forget this important step. Ensure you collect the name, address, and phone number of the other people involved in the accident. Also, get a description of the vehicle, and the license plate number.
Some insurance companies only collect the vehicle registration number and the license plate number. Ensure that you note down the insurance company of the car along with the vehicle’s identification number.
Also, record the date and time of the accident, address of the accident or an appropriate address. Look for the nearest road and cross-street to know where you are. Record the direction you are traveling in and the direction that the other car was traveling in a well.
Some information that could be useful includes notes on regarding the driving conditions such as the weather and visibility. Also, record the contact information of witnesses who were present at the scene of the accident.
6. Contact your Insurance Company
You should get in touch with your insurance company through your lawyer immediately. If you can call them at the scene, it would be best and easier for you to make your claim. At the time of the accident, the police officer may be better at giving accurate information because you might be under pressure.
7. Start Working on Filing Your Accident Claim
Once you have talked to your lawyer, you can now ask them to file the accident claim for you. They can also walk you through the procedure of making the claim yourself. Your only job at the scene of the accident is to collect information and not to get into any further discussion.
If the other party attempts to convince you to admit fault or to suggest that you handle those things without insurance. Collect the information required and do not make any commitment to any decision.
Get the information necessary to report the occurrence of the accident, especially if you consider the fact that in almost every state, you require a legal obligation to report a car accident.
Always remember that even in the scene of the accident, you do not know the type of insurance the other party has. Therefore, to ensure the company pays you a claim, stick to the facts and protect yourself.
8. Use Your Mobile Phone to Take Pictures
If it is still intact, your mobile phone can be key in protecting your claim. Some insurance companies allow you to submit your claims by submitting information using emails and apps. As such, you might consider taking pictures if the scene.
This is especially useful in cases of property damages and collecting the positioning of the involved cars in the streets. Ensure you pay attention to the potential risks of identity theft as you take personal information.
The other party in the accident only needs your name and address and your phone number to give to their insurance company. They, however, do not need to have the photo of your driver’s license.
Having a Car Wreckage Lawyer Is a Key Aspect of What to Do in Case of an Accident
When determining what to do in case of an accident, ensure you consult a lawyer. The lawyer will help you file the insurance claim and protect your rights.
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