Steps to Take After a Car Accident: In the United States alone there are close to five million automobile accidents occurring yearly. If you have ever been in an accident while driving, then you know what it feels like to go through the shock of a traumatic event which can leave you wondering what you should do following your ordeal.
Steps to Take After a Car Accident
Steps to Take After a Car Accident
So, if you ever see yourself in this type of situation and don’t have the foggiest idea of what to do next then it would behoove you to be familiar with the following steps so you’ll be prepared with what to do if you are involved in a car accident.
Assess for Bodily Injury
If you don’t know that you are injured then you need to assess yourself prior to making an attempt to move. If you find yourself in immediate danger then you need to either remove yourself from the area or have someone help you.
Assess Other Crash Victims Involved
After ensuring your own personal safety, you must assess the other individuals who were also in the crash.
You accomplish this by assessing your own passengers (if you have any) and seeking immediate medical attention if they need it. If any neck pain is expressed or if anyone is unconscious, keep them still and wait for EMS to arrive.
After ensuring your vehicle passengers are safe, exit your car and check the other vehicle drivers and their passengers. Again, determine the extent of injuries and seek EMS, if warranted.
Seek a Place That is Safe
If you are able to, you need to drive your car onto the shoulder of the road. This will prevent other nonessential vehicles from being blocked and maintain traffic flow.
Then get all persons involved in a safe place so to not cause other possible accidents. Any place is safe as long as you are not near the roadway.
Remain on Scene
Regardless of how minor the accident seems to you, you must remain on scene until the police and/or EMS have arrived. Not only is it important to remain on scene but it is also illegal to leave the scene of an accident. You will be seen as “guilty” even though you may not be by law enforcement.
So to avoid any incrimination, your best bet is to remain on the scene until all information is obtained and you have been told its ok to leave.
Contact Law Enforcement
Calling the police should be immediately done after the crash occurs. Not only is it a good idea to get the police involved, but many states have made it a legal requirement to contact the police.
As soon as an officer has responded and arrived on scene they will begin to fill out a report that has all of the details of the crash, a statement of all witnesses and their information, as well as the information of all drivers involved and their contact information.
If an officer is not dispatched to the crash, you can visit the nearest police station that has jurisdiction and file the report then. This will come in handy if your insurance company requires it as part of the claim process.
Make No Admission of Guilt
This is an important time to keep quiet following a car accident with regard to guilt. The reason why is because any type of an apology could be easily interpreted as admission and that will put all liability on you.
If you feel you must talk to someone then you should seek immediate counsel. If your attorney is contacted by the opposing insurance company, you have a right to refuse an interview. They should be able to have all of their questions answered by your attorney.
Alert The Insurance Carrier of Your Auto Accident
You should always make sure to inform your insurance company of the crash. Letting them know sooner than later will determine how fast your claim process will take. Make sure, to be honest, and provide as much detail as possible and if requested, provide a copy of the police report. This will cut a lot of time off from the claim being successfully obtained. Not only that, but you will also have specifics concerning which laws were broken and a definite assessment of fault after the accident was caused.
Visit the Local E.R
Visiting an E.R will ensure that a “minor” pain will not turn into a “major” concern later down the road. The reason why it’s important is that right after the accident you’re going to have so much adrenaline running through you that you will unable to determine any injuries or pain at all.
Obtain an Estimate for Damages
Obtaining an estimate of damages from YOUR insurance carrier will make the claims process go a little smoother. Not only that but you will get a quicker turn-around time when determining the extent of damage caused by you and whether your car is worth the repair or not. If you were not at fault and the other insurance company is taking longer than normal, then your car accident personal injury lawyer can find ways that can speed up the claims process.
Seek Legal Counsel
Seeking a Los Angeles accident attorney will give you many benefits after sustaining a car accident. First, they will be representing you if you are presented with a lawsuit, and second, they can fight hard against the insurance companies to get you the best claim offer possible as your auto injury attorney.
Your car accident personal injury lawyer will always be there when you need them and will explain what the whole process will involve from start to finish. This representation will not expire until your auto injury attorney is fully satisfied with the outcome of the case.
If you are only seeking the advice of what steps to take, then your Los Angeles accident attorney will be happy to assist so that you’re directed down a clear path that will have a fair outcome for you.