In 2019, there was an average of approximately 6 million car accidents in the United States. These motor-vehicle accidents accounted for 4.5 million medically consulted injuries. No matter how careful of a driver you are, you may still, unfortunately, find yourself in this difficult and scary situation. Remember to remain calm. Car accidents happen. What is important is knowing what to do next. This way, you will be able to protect yourself, any passengers you may have, and the other driver. Here are the five things to do after a car accident.
1. Remain As Calm As Possible
If this is a major accident, your adrenaline may rise, and your heart may feel like it is beating at a million miles per minute. Keep calm and take a deep breath. In these situations, it is best to remain as composed as possible.
2. Stay At The Scene Of The Car Accident
Never drive away from and leave the scene of an accident, even if you think the accident is a minor one. While waiting at the scene, check to see if anyone is injured. If so, call 911 for an ambulance immediately. Even if no one has sustained any severe injuries, it is still best to contact the police. Some insurance companies require a police report before you can make a claim for vehicular damage. Ultimately, staying at the accident site can assure everyone’s safety, allow you to make an insurance claim, and help you avoid any unnecessary confusion.
3. Collect Information And Evidence At The Accident Scene
While you are waiting for the appropriate authorities to arrive, use this time to gather important information. This may seem unnecessary to some since the police officers that arrive at the scene will also be obtaining similar information. However, having this information and evidence on hand may help you submit your claim more quickly or assist you in other ways down the line. Some information and evidence an expert car accident lawyer suggests that you gather include:
- The names, addresses, phone numbers, and email addresses of all of the parties involved in the car accident.
- The drivers’ license, license plate number, insurance company name, and insurance policy number of all of the parties involved in the vehicular accident.
- If there are witnesses at the scene, kindly ask them for their names and contact information.
- Photographs from your phone camera of the scene, such as visible injuries, visible vehicular damage, or road conditions. Be mindful not to interfere with any ongoing police investigation.
4. Get Medical Assistance Immediately
Following an accident, many people will try to minimize their trauma and deny that they have any injuries. It is always better to be safe than sorry. Seek medical assistance as soon as possible. Many symptoms of a serious injury may not even appear or be immediately apparent after an accident. Only a licensed medical healthcare professional will be able to provide you with a proper diagnosis. Furthermore, some insurance companies will deny your claim unless you receive medical attention within an appropriate amount of time. Be sure you document all immediate and ongoing medical expenses, which can later be used as evidence for your claim.
5. Contact An Experienced Attorney
In the event that you are seriously injured, contact a personal injury attorney. Insurance companies can be a hassle to deal with. Having an experienced attorney can help alleviate this burden as you focus on getting back on your feet.