Car accidents are often unexpected and can be scary. It is hard to be prepared for an accident, and it is impossible to predict how you may react following an accident. Everything can change within a moment, so it is essential to have a plan. All that people can do to minimize car accidents is drive safely and cautiously. If you get yourself caught in an accident, this can serve as a helpful guideline on what to do next:
1. Call a Lawyer
You should ask a personal injury lawyer after you have ascertained that you are not in danger or require immediate medical attention. The Barnes Firm, a law firm that can connect you with an injury lawyer in NYC, SF, and many other significant cities, suggests everyone involved in an accident reach out to a personal injury lawyer. Lawyers can support you navigate what to do next following a car accident and protect you from other participants and shady insurance practices.
Hiring a lawyer to work on your case is the best way to proceed with car accidents, regardless of the severity of the situation. Personal injury lawyers will seek to make sure you are adequately compensated for any issues and challenges from the accident. In addition, they are only paid a portion of what compensation they were able to retrieve for you. They will negotiate and represent you in all legal situations, including insurance claims. Hiring a lawyer is the best way to ensure your case is handled appropriately and in your favor.
2. Stay at the Scene
Accidents can often be scary and cause people to enter a frenzy. Panicking will only worsen the situation, and it is essential for everyone involved, including you, to stay at the scene. This is true regardless of which caused the accident. Fleeing the background can provoke legal actions to be taken against you. Following the crash, be sure to pull your vehicle to your side (if possible) and exit safely. Encourage others that are involved in doing the same. Staying at the scene will also minimize confusion.
3. Call the Police
Call the police regardless if your or others’ injuries are minor. It is essential to get medical help if an injury requires immediate medical attention. Your priority should be your safety and well-being, so make sure that you are majorly unaffected by the collision. After you have determined you do not need medical attention, you can check on the other drivers involved in the crash. The police should be called soon after. A police report is required to file an insurance claim, so the police must be called regardless of everyone’s medical status.
Moving your wheels out of the way of oncoming traffic is very important and should be done when possible. This will minimize additional damage to the car and help decrease traffic congestion. It will also make it easier for emergency services to arrive at the crash site.
4. Write Down Any Details You Remember
It can be confusing to recount what happened at the time of the incident, so be sure to write down what you remember. This will minimize confusion and help you present accurate details to your injury lawyer. Having a fresh memory will also lead to fewer confounding details. Essential things to note are the weather and how the crash happened. If you remember any reckless driving or speeding from other drivers, be sure to record that as well.
5. Take Photos of the Scene
Be sure to take pictures of your vehicle at the scene. Take photos of injuries and other vehicles. You want there to be as much photographic evidence as possible. If other drivers try to flee, this will be helpful. For insurance purposes, any photograph evidence will be beneficial as well. Ideally, photos can be taken with precise accuracy at the scene. These will be helpful police reports as well.
6. Speak and Exchange Contacts with Those Involved
You want to speak to other drivers and exchange phone numbers, licenses, and insurance information. These information pieces are essential for your insurance claim and your case. The police officers will also take it down at the scene, but it never hurts to have information twice.
7. File a Report
You want to contact your insurance provider when you can. You can also ask your lawyer to do so for you. The insurance corporation will let you know what their policy allows for medical coverage and repairs. Prompt reporting will push the case alongside faster so that your life can be minimally impacted by accident.