Car accidents are inevitable and they tend to occur more in some places than some. They are much higher in the developing countries than they are in developed countries. This is mostly because apparently the developed countries as the name implies seem to have kept in place measures to curb most occurences, ranging from good road network to security, good cars etc. Statistics say over six million car accidents occur annually in the United States, most of which involve only property damage to the vehicle other than the drivers or passengers. Though, one in three accidents involve personal injury to the driver or passengers and out of that number, two out of every ten accidents lead to fatal injuries.
Below is a list of 7 necessary things you should do after an automobile accident:
Always resist any urge to drive away from the scene of an accident, no matter how minor. Staying put and doing the necessary will give the authoritiees an opportunity to hear your own side of the story.
2. SECURE THE SCENE:
Set up flares, and keep your flashers on, but if your light isn’t working have a flashlight to keep you safe while you wait in your disabled car or by the side of the road. Especially if the accident occured at night to prevent further accidents If it is dark and your lights don’t work, you should.
3. REACH OUT TO THE POLICE
The police is your friend, always call them. They could be closer than you think and your best shot at help too. Though, when they arrive you may need to give an account and probably file a police report to and legally alert your insurance company, even if it is just to make a claim for vehicle damage. Also, do not move the vehicles involved in the accident allow them where they are, unless they interfere with traffic. Make sure you give an accurate detail to the investigating officer(s) of exactly what happened, to the best of your ability. If you are not certain of some things, do not speculate, tell that to the officer. If you are asked if you are injured and you aren’t certain say same, other than No. Often, the pain and injuries from an automobile accidents are most felt hours after the actual collision. Be sure statements made by other persons involved in the accident are accurate as well.
4. EXCHANGE INFORMATION
Obtain the name, address and telephone number of everyone involved in the accident, drivers and passengers alike, you can also obtain other information like insurance by asking to see the insurance card for all vehicles involved in the accident, that is if the police skipped to do their job as regards this. If there are witnesses, you should get information from them as well so that you or your attorney can contact them in the future. If police respond to the accident, the investigating officer usually will provide all drivers with a police report number. You can use that number later to obtain the police report. If the accident occurs on a state highway, you must request the report from the state police.
5. TAKE PICTURES
This is a point that may skip your mind but it is indeed very vital, especially as proof to back up your statements. If you happen to have a camera in your vehicle, or a smartphone – take pictures of the vehicles, if there is visible damage. If you have visible injuries, take photographs of them as well. Yet, do not in any way interfere with the on-going police investigation. If you cannot take pictures at the scene of the accident, take them as soon as possible after the accident.
6. SEEK MEDICAL ATTENTION
Often, injuries caused by motor vehicle accidents are not immediately apparent. Most of our clients report feeling the most pain a day or two following an automobile accident. Unless you are absolutely certain you were not injured, you should seek medical attention at your local emergency room or by seeing your family physician. Even in accidents involving minor impact, you can sustain a serious and permanent injury to your spinal cord. If you lost consciousness or were dazed for even a short period of time following the collision, you may have suffered a concussion or closed head injury. This can cause cognitive and behavioral changes if left untreated.
7. PROTECT YOUR RIGHTS:
Perhaps the most important thing you should do after an accident is to consult your attorney. This is so your attorney can protect your rights and make sure valuable evidence is not destroyed. Often, insurance companies want to take statements immediately after an accident. It is important that you have received legal advice before providing such a statement. Your attorney can advise you on issues ranging from how to make sure you are fully compensated for your vehicle to how to make sure you are getting the best medical treatment available. Personal injury attorneys work on a contingency fee basis, which means there is no legal fee unless the attorney recovers compensation for your injuries. Also, its important that you preserve and keep all your accident-related documents and information together and in one piece. This information should include a claim number, the claim’s adjuster who is handling the claim, names and phone numbers of all contacts, receipts for a rental car and other expenses incurred as a result of the accident.