What steps to take if involved in a Car Accident? How to expedite property and personal damage, lawyers you might need to reach out to and follow up after the road accident.
Being involved in a car accident is stressful and often expensive. Damage to your property and being injured are both traumatic. This guide will help you navigate the seconds, minutes, and days after a car accident to make sure you get through this traumatic event with the least amount of stress.
Immediately after an accident, your first priority is safety. Your safety first, and then the safety of any passengers and other people involved in the accident. When involved in a car crash:
- Immediately stop.
- Quickly check yourself for any injuries.
- Check your passengers for injuries.
- If you and your passengers are ok then switch off your vehicle and switch on hazard lights. Get out and move to a safe area away from the traffic.
- If anyone is injured then switch off your engine. Switch on hazard lights. Immediately call emergency services.
If everyone is ok and you can exit your vehicle also make sure that no further accidents are going to occur. Place an emergency triangle, cone, or flare on the road in a position that will warn other motorists. Make sure that everyone involved including witnesses move to a safe area away from the traffic, but still close to the scene where you can wait for emergency services to arrive.
Who do You Need to Contact?
Start by calling 911 or the appropriate authorities. In many states, you need to report a road accident even if nobody was hurt. If someone was hurt you always have to report a road accident. Wait for the authorities to respond and give them any details that they might need. The officer will need the details about the accident as well as your driver’s license and proof of insurance and registration.
After contacting the authorities then call your insurance company. It is best to call them while still at the accident scene. Your insurance company will be able to talk you through what you need to do. Remember they are on your side and want to protect your rights. They will tell you what to say and what information to get from the other driver as well as the police to help with your claim. Getting the correct information and not admitting wrongdoing in the accident will help your insurance recover their costs from the insurance of the other driver.
Calling a lawyer that has experience in motor vehicle accidents is also a good idea. Again you need to protect your rights and when rattled and possibly angry it is best to have as many experts in your corner as possible. External people like your insurance company and lawyer can calmly make sure that you do all the necessary things to protect your right at the scene and in the days after the accident.
If the other vehicle in the accident is a commercial vehicle you have to be extra vigilant. The damage and injuries can be a lot worse when heavy vehicles are involved. The liability for the accident also can be very complicated with a commercial vehicle driver, truck owner, manufacturer of the truck, company whose goods are on the truck, a transport broker, and their insurance companies now possibly being involved in your claim.
The following article that explains the legal risks and complications of having a truck accident in Greeneville will also give you an understanding of the complexities involved as soon as a commercial vehicle causes the accident. Make sure to get a lawyer when a commercial vehicle is involved because you will be facing corporate and insurance lawyers in this case.
Follow the instruction of the police officer, your insurance company, and lawyer when documenting the details of the accident. Take photos and get all the relevant contact information. Write down all the accident and vehicle details. When talking to the other driver also keep to business and exchange relevant information only. Don’t admit guilt or say sorry.
After the Accident
Make sure to get a doctor to check out both you and your passengers. Some injuries are only obvious after the adrenaline has worn off or a bit of time has passed. Keep the medical records and bills in case you need them later.
Follow up with your insurance company and send them the information you took down at the accident scene. Also, send them the photos you took. They will likely also need a copy of the police report.
Remember, be safe and immediately contact the experts who will walk you through what to do at the accident scene. Emergency services, insurance call centers, and accident lawyers deal with accidents every day. You will hopefully only deal with an accident once or twice in your life.