A car accident can become one of the most difficult situations in our lives. This type of unforeseen events can happen to any driver due to many factors. That’s why it’s important to be prepared and know what you can and should do after a car accident.
Our accident attorneys not only focus on laws and regulations, but also understand the pain, confusion and concerns of people who have gone through this stressful situation. We are aware of the irreparable damage that can be caused by a car accident and how difficult it is to recover for many of the victims and their families. Therefore, here are some tips to take into account.
- After the accident: stay calm
After a car accident, maintaining peace of mind is essential. Being impatient or letting yourself be overcome by anxiety does not help you solve the most immediate issues or think clearly. Keep in mind that aggressiveness and hysteria can increase stress significantly and, in some cases, even generate situations of violence with the other people involved in the accident.
- Find out if there are injured
First check if you have any injuries, and if someone was injured. If you get out of your vehicle, do it very carefully. Contact 911 immediately to request medical assistance. This, despite having doubts about the severity of their injuries and the health status of other people. It is important that you and your family see a doctor, even if you do not seem to have serious injuries, because some injuries manifest themselves days or weeks after the incident. A medical report will also be helpful when you go to court.
- Stay in the place of events
This advice may seem obvious, but never flee or move away from the scene after a traffic accident. Remember that doing that is a crime. If possible, stay until the police, the parties involved and other drivers leave.
- Protect yourself and avoid more accidents
As much as possible, and if the car accident was minor, it is important that the cars involved in the event move to a safer place so as not to impede traffic. In addition, you can use the resources within your reach to take care of yourself and alert others to the situation. Turn on lights and emergency flares and use other items such as cones.
- Call the authorities
Regardless of the type of accident, always contact the authorities as soon as possible. The police will initiate an investigation of the incident. Beyond who was responsible for the car accident, it is essential to have an official report from the authorities because it can be very helpful. When the police arrive at the scene, collaborate with the officers, take note of the names of the agents and the patrol number, and ask where you can get a copy of the report.
- Review the situation, take notes and record the damages
Stay alert and take notes about the car accident. Get the data of the other people involved and try to obtain information about drivers’ licenses (if someone does not own the car ask for the owner’s information and relationship). Talk to potential witnesses in the area to get their phones, emails and addresses. And if you can, take pictures of the scene of the accident. The data and images that you register will be very useful for the claim you will present to your insurance company, future investigations and when you contact a specialist lawyer to help you with your case.
- Do not assume blame ahead of time
A car accident is a confusing situation, so you should not draw quick conclusions and take responsibility for the events. If you think you are at fault and caused the accident, do not tell anyone. Let the authorities determine what happened after evaluating the evidence of the facts. If you are afraid or nervous, try to stay calm. Be cordial and kind, but never assume guilt that may not correspond to you. Limit to collaborating and helping to give information about the facts to the police and your insurance company, to which you must also report what happened immediately.
- Contact your insurance company
In addition to calling the authorities, remember to contact your agent or insurance broker as soon as possible to tell them what happened. Notifying your insurance company after a traffic accident, even if it seems that there was no major damage, is essential. This will help you to start with the claim you will present to the company.
- Consult a lawyer
In the United States, each place has its specific laws , rules and regulations that can be complicated when submitting claims to insurance companies and, if necessary, take legal action against the negligent party to collect money from the corresponding compensations. Therefore, in the event that you have to file a claim for an automobile accident, it is important to contact a lawyer immediately.
Extra tip: Do not sign any document or paper or give information to other people, except for the police, emergency medical services, your insurance company or your lawyer.