No one ever expects to be in a car accident, but the unfortunate reality is that they happen all too often. If you are unlucky enough to find yourself in this situation, it’s important to know what steps to take to ensure your safety and protect your rights. In no particular order, here is a guide to the legal steps you should take after a car accident.
Stop the Vehicle
This is a legal requirement, and you must stay on the scene until law enforcement arrives. Do not attempt to flee, no matter how minor the accident may seem. Stopping the vehicle at the moment of impact can help to ensure that you don’t hit another road user. Be sure to brake firmly, but also stay in control. If a crash is imminent, you may wish to steer your car away from obstacles or other vehicles if possible.
Once you have stopped your car in a safe place, you should then exchange information with the other driver involved in the accident. Make sure to get their name, contact information, and insurance policy details.
You’ll also need to jot down a description of the other car, including its make and model as well as its license plate number. If there were any witnesses at the scene who saw what happened, be sure to get their contact details as well. They could play an essential part in the case, should you decide to pursue a claim further.
Check to See if You Qualify for Short Term Disability
Though this is not one of the first things you should do straight after a car accident, it could be one of the most important. Checking to see if you qualify for short term disability can help you cover the costs of medical bills, lost wages, and other expenses that may arise.
Even if you think you are not seriously injured after a car accident, it is important to get medical attention imminently. Some injuries don’t manifest until later and can be more serious if they are not treated right away. It is also important to document any medical care you receive due to the accident in case there are future legal issues that arise from the incident.
While still at the accident scene, make sure to document everything that happened as thoroughly as possible. Take photos or videos of any visible damage to your vehicle, and, if you are able, obtain photos of the other vehicle. This will be useful later when filing a claim with your insurance company, so having everything you need could help to sway the decision in your favour.
Contact Your Insurance Company
If you are carrying the required amount of insurance coverage, your policy should oversee any damage to your vehicle as well as the medical costs that may arise. Contact your insurance company right after the accident. They will help guide you through the process, which can involve getting estimates for repairs or replacement vehicles and filing a claim. They can also help you determine the liability of who is responsible for the damages and provide legal advice if needed.
Get Legal Help
If the other party involved in the accident was at fault, they may be liable to cover any medical costs, lost wages, or property damage that resulted from the accident. A lawyer can help you evaluate your accident claim and pursue any compensation that you may deserve. The sooner you speak with a lawyer, the better chance they have of helping you receive the maximum compensation possible.
Being involved in a car accident is something that no one ever wants to experience. However, if you find yourself in this situation, it is important to stay calm and take the proper steps outlined above. Make sure to contact the necessary authorities, exchange information with all parties, take pictures of the damage, and contact your insurance provider. Although being involved in a car accident can be stressful, by following these steps you can make the entire process go more smoothly.