Car accidents both minor and major ones are common incidents that can take place in anyone’s life. Even during the pandemic, when the number of cars on the road was lesser, many car accidents were reported. As the roads were empty, most drivers resorted to driving at a higher speed.
For this reason, it is important to be prepared for what the process is after a car accident. When you are prepared, you will be able to claim auto insurance and your rights against the driver who was at fault. In case the at-fault driver falsely blames you, you will be able to protect yourself. Though car accidents are very stressful incidents, below is a simple guide that you can follow to prepare yourself to deal with the first responders, injuries, auto insurance claims, and most importantly your rights.
Move Towards Security
The first thing you should do right after a car accident is to pull your vehicle over to a safe place. If the accident takes place in the nighttime, then move towards a spot that is well lit. It is important to stay in an area that is visible to the public and the other driver. Do not try to run away just out of panic. The law is very strict when dealing with drivers who are responsible for hit-and-run accidents.
Moving towards a safe space or sidewalk will also reduce the chances of causing any further road hazards. In case you are hurt very badly, then in such circumstances do not try to move as you may hurt yourself further. Switch on your emergency lights to alert other incoming cars.
Notify Legal Authorities
Once you and the vehicle have moved to a safe place, check if you or your passengers have suffered any injuries. Even if there is a minor injury call for ambulance services. Many a time, an injury surfaces a bit later than the accident. This is because of the trauma of the car accident that makes you feel numb at the time.
You will then need to notify the police to come and help you report the accident. Give the proper location to them so they can get to you soon. If you are not sure of the area you are in, take the help of nearby passersby to guide the police. You will need to give your name and any other identifying information that the police will need. After the dispatchers confirm that they are on their way, the next step is to call your lawyer. Your lawyer will give you legal advice on a car crash and guide you on the next steps. If you don’t have a lawyer, then you should hire one the soonest after the incident. Wait for the police to arrive. Even if they are late, do not leave the scene. However, sometimes, when there is another emergency and there is no one hurt during your accident, you will be advised to come over to the nearest police station.
Reporting The Accident
If the police are on their way or you have to go to the nearest station, try to take down notes of what exactly happened. This is important to do so as the memory will still be fresh and the chances of you omitting or forgetting some important information in the future will be lesser.
Write down the car registration numbers of those involved in the accident along with detailed information of all the drivers. Note down the reason why the accident took place along with any other external factors that came into play for example if the weather was too turbulent or it was raining heavily. When the law enforcement authorities arrive, give all the information asked for. The same goes for if you have to visit the police station yourself.
An accident report is a document that will be prepared by the police officer giving in all the details of the collision. This is a very important document that you will need in case you are sued by the other party. Do not speak to the other drivers directly and don’t make any side deals with them.
Resist from making any admissions of who was at fault or apologizing profusely. This is applicable even if you were at fault. When you are asked if you have suffered any injuries, state that you will know that only after you have been assessed by a doctor. This is because, as mentioned before, that many injuries crop up much later after the accident has taken place.
Prepare For Legal Claims
Once the accident has been reported, make sure to collect all necessary documents that will be needed for future claims. This includes the accident report and also pictures or videos taken after the accident that can prove that you were not at fault. If there were any witnesses to the accident, take their information as well so you can take their help to strengthen your case.
Inform your insurance company as soon as possible. The lawyer then will be able to help expedite the claim process for you. They will also be able to help you with other services like claiming your rights if the other driver was at fault or clearing your name at the court. There are many aspects involved in a court case during a claims process and you can ask your lawyer to clarify any questions that you do not understand.
Be Patient And Persistent During The Claims Process
While you would like to have a quick claim process and go back to your normal life, you have to understand that sometimes these things take more time. If you get stressed and anxious easily then you may end up losing your claim. Be patient with your claims process and let the lawyer guide you on the right steps you need to take. Meanwhile, you should also check if you have any physical injuries that need your attention.