More than six million car accidents occur on the roadways in the U.S. each year. Although many of these accidents involve only property damage or minor injuries, this is not always true. Two out of 10 accidents cause fatal injuries and one out of every three accidents cause injuries. If you are involved in a car accident, knowing how to respond can make a tremendous difference in the outcome of the situation.
Since it’s not every day that we find ourselves involved in auto accidents, most of us lack the knowledge to properly handle this situation. Yes, there is a wrong and a right way to respond to an auto accident, at least if you want to minimize the stress of this event. Even when you think that ‘common sense’ is all that you need to handle an accident, it’s best to learn important details that you may forget in the time of a crisis.
Stop Your Vehicle
Always stop your vehicle after an accident. Do not consider going home or anywhere else, unless you need medical attention. If you leave the scene, you can later be arrested for leaving the scene of an accident. This is true even in situations where there are no injuries or minor injuries.
It’s not easy to remain calm after an accident, especially when there are major injuries or damages. However, you’ll only cause more undue stress if you aren’t calm. It’s hard to think or act appropriately if you are in a panic mode. Panic doesn’t help; it makes things worse. Take a few deep breaths and remember that you must stay calm.
It is important to keep everyone safe after an accident. There are a few things that you can do to ensure everyone’s safety. Turn off vehicles if they’re still running after the accident. If there are no major damages or injuries, move the vehicle out of the middle of the road to minimize traffic disruption. It’s also ideal to place warning sticks/cones out to warn drivers that there is an accident ahead.
Assess the condition of everyone involved in the accident. If immediate medical attention is needed, dial 9-1-1 to get an ambulance in route to the scene. Nothing is more important than taking care of injuries after a car crash.
Call the Police
If medical attention isn’t immediately needed, do not call 9-1-1. Instead, call the local police department to report the accident. They’ll send an officer out to the scene immediately to assist with the accident. It is important that you call the police to report the accident, especially if you plan to file a claim with your auto insurance company.
Never Admit Fault
Do not mention fault after an accident. It’s best to simply avoid this topic altogether. When you started your insurance policy, one of the terms that you agreed to was to never admit fault. It is a violation of the contract to admit fault- and may cause a lot of turmoil for you at a later date. Avoid the situation and simply avoid the topic, whether to the other party involved in the accident, pedestrians standing by, or the police officers who respond to the accident.
Exchange Information With the Other Driver
Although the responding police officer will get the information necessary to file a claim with the insurance company, it’s a good idea to go ahead and exchange information with the other driver while you wait, just to be on the safe side. Information such as the driver’s name, vehicle VIN, and insurance information can help you when it’s time to recoup damages for the accident. Be sure to provide the driver with the same information as they provide to you during this exchange.
A few photos can serve you well in the event your accident turns into a lawsuit. Your lawyer will certainly give you a thumbs up for being prepared with photos of the accident scene. A fancy camera or photography skills aren’t necessary to take photos of the accident. Just a few shots of the car, highlighting the damages, will do. It’s also a good idea to take pictures of your injuries or injuries of those in your car, if possible.
Contact the Insurance Company
Your insurance company must be notified of the accident as soon as possible. Make sure they’re one of the first calls that you make after the accident. The sooner you report the accident, the better since an adjuster will need to come to the location to assess the situation to determine fault, etc. Do not wait to call the insurance company, as you will need the claim money to repair your vehicle, get medical attention, etc. It’s the reason you pay for auto insurance each month. Make sure that you get what you deserve when the day is done.
Call a Lawyer
A Los Angeles accident attorney is available to help people who’ve been involved in an accident who cannot get satisfactory results from the insurance company and in cases where the driver was uninsured or underinsured. So often, insurance companies look out for their own best interests rather than that of their clients. You’re left with mounding medical bills and other headaches that deplete your quality of life very quickly. This isn’t fair to you. A Los Angeles personal injury attorney ensures that you get justice, no matter what. talk to a car accident personal injury lawyer at no cost to learn if your case qualifies for a lawsuit. Don’t settle for less after an accident. Make sure to talk to a car accident personal injury lawyer and get justice in your case.
A car accident occurs every six seconds in the United States. There’s a good chance that you will be involved in one of these accidents at some point in time. It’s best for everyone if you know how to respond to an auto accident. Use the information above to minimize stress and improve the outcome of an auto accident.