What to do After a Car Accident: A 4-Step Guide
6 million car accidents happen every year in the US. With these startling figures, it’s likely you’ll find yourself involved in one at least once during your lifetime. However, not all of us understand or know what to do if you’re involved in a car accident, and being left unprepared can have drastic consequences, from not getting the right information from the other parties involved, to not collecting enough evidence of the scene. Although many of us will suffer from shock in the event of a crash, you need to learn the steps to take if it were ever to happen to you.
Step 1: Stop
If you’re at fault, then the urge to drive away from the accident may be strong. You should, however, stop and stay there, even if it’s a minor accident. If a person has been injured, call for an ambulance. You should also call the police if there is any obstruction to the road. What’s more, if you need to file a claim with your insurance company, you will need a police report.
The vehicles that are involved in the accident must stay where they are, unless they are interfering with traffic on the highway, and you and the other drivers involved should put their flashers on so that other drivers coming your way are notified of the accident. If the accident happens at night time, be sure to try and light up the accident as much as you can.
Step 2: Make a Record of the Scene
No matter how minor the accident is, be sure to make a record of the scene so that the evidence can be used if it were ever to go to court. Take photos on your cell phone, and gather the information of the other drivers. You should exchange the following information: name, address, phone number, policy number, insurance company, driver license number and the license plate number.
Photos can be used when the police arrive and submitted as evidence to insurance companies if there’s a dispute as to who is at fault. If the accident is serious and you have been injured but are unsure how to move forward, be sure to contact an Orlando car accident attorney for guidance and advice. Evidence of the scene will be crucial to the case if it were to go to trial.
Step 3: Contact Your Insurance Company
You should contact your insurance company and notify them of the accident as soon as possible. This is vital because your policy may have a clause in it that requires immediate reporting. You may be able to recover the cost of medical bills if you have this cover in your policy.
Step 4: Get Medical Attention
This is vital, unless you are certain you’ve not been injured. However, do bear in mind that some injuries will not become visible until a few hours or even days later. Even a very minor impact can cause spinal damage. You may also have suffered a concussion if you briefly lost consciousness.
A car accident can cause shock and even PTSD if the event was serious, however, whether you were at fault or not, be sure to follow the steps listed above. Hire a professional attorney and ask for their help in the matter, and report the accident to your insurance company. If you’ve been injured, then you need to seek medical attention.