Getting into a car accident can be one of the most traumatizing experiences that many people ever face. A car crash is always unexpected, and even if you are following all of the rules of the road, you can still find yourself in a car accident if the other driver isn’t concentrating or is breaking traffic laws. One-in-four Americans will get into a car accident at some point in their lives, so even if you think you won’t ever get into a car crash, it is still wise to be prepared and know what to do in case you ever do find yourself in this unfortunate situation.
So, what should you do if you end up in a car accident?
Well, first, you need to check yourself for serious injuries, such as broken bones or a concussion. Next, you’ll want to check any other people in your vehicle for injuries as well. If everyone in your car is okay, you’ll want to go over to the other vehicle and make sure the people there are okay too.
Next, you want to make sure your vehicle is off the road if you can. A crashed vehicle in the middle of the road can be a traffic hazard, possibly even causing another crash, so if you can move your car to the side of the road, do that right away, and encourage the other driver to do the same.
After you’ve checked for injuries and moved your car, call 9-1-1 and explain the situation. Tell the operator about any injuries and whether or not there is significant debris in the road. The police should arrive shortly after you make this call.
The next thing you want to think about is documenting the accident. While taking photos and talking to witnesses may be the last thing you want to do after being in a car crash, the evidence you collect at the scene of the crash can prove very important later on when you file an insurance claim. Howard Spiva, a car wreck attorney in Savannah, GA explains that evidence is also hugely important if you end up needing to file a personal injury case. He recommends taking photos of the crash site from all angles and getting the contact information of any eyewitnesses.
Once the police arrive, you also need to contact your insurance company and let them know what happened. You can offer them your side of the story and any evidence you have collected as well.
If you’ve suffered significant injuries that your insurance claim can’t or won’t cover, then you may need to go further and seek legal help. As John Demas, an attorney who helps his clients understand how to file a car accident claim in Sacramento CA explains, filing a personal injury claim after a car accident can be a complicated and time-consuming process, so getting expert legal help can take some of the stress off of your shoulders and make a successful claim more likely. Robert Haddad, a car accident attorney in Virginia Beach agrees, explaining that car accidents laws can vary depending on the area you are in, and at the very least, you should consult an expert car accident attorney before filing a personal injury claim.
These are a few steps to keep in mind if you find yourself in a car accident. Remember to drive safely and encourage others to do so as well.