Accidents are inevitable and are usually ugly. The accident scene is always full of mixed emotions, uncertainty, and confusion that make it hard to grasp what is going on. The scene degenerates into chaos more often than not as the drivers fight, and people flock to the scene. There is a possibility of getting involved in an accident whenever on the road. Be prepared for this. Your reaction can help to minimize the damages you will incur. If you get into a car accident, here is what you need to do:
Make Sure Everybody Is Safe
The first thing you need to do is check yourself and any passengers in the car for apparent injuries. Suppose the accident hit or hurt anyone, dial 911 to get medical help to the scene as fast as possible. It is also important to apply first aid measures on the wounded. Make sure you keep the severely injured in position until help arrives. Some injuries, like spine and neck injuries, become permanent with wrong movements.
Call the police on the emergency or non-emergency hotlines depending on the scale of the accident. Turn on your car’s hazard lights or set flares around the scene to alert other motorists to the issue. Do not leave the scene until the relevant authorities dismiss you. Keep in mind that the safety of the involved parties is most important.
Assess the Car Accident Scene
Document everything that happened and take measures to protect your rights. Preserve the accident scene as it is; this is important to the investigating authorities such as insurers and the police to analyze the scene. Take pictures of the cars and the debris relating to the accident. You can move the vehicles after taking comprehensive photos of the scene.
Pay attention to details such as the people and cars involved. The following information about the other driver is vital;
- Insurance information
- Name, telephone number, and address.
- Vehicle license number
- Model, make, and year of the vehicle
These details will help when your lawyer files for compensation.
Contact Your Insurer
It is always best for the insurer to learn about the accident from you as soon. Let them know the full details of the accident so that they can begin claiming for you. Also, most insurance companies have a fixed period within which you can contact them. Failure to make contact will lead to the dismissal of your claim. The insurer will discuss the benefits covered and be able to tell you what to expect.
However, if the other party’s insurance company makes contact, do not accept any liability, make statements or accept any form of payment before talking to your lawyer.
Call Your Lawyer
To ensure that they protect you against any repercussions that may arise from an accident, however minor, get in touch with an experienced lawyer. A lawyer will ensure that no one violates your interests and rights. Never forget that the insurance companies do not care about you and are only seeking to pay the smallest amount as compensation. Pick an excellent lawyer with experience, credentials, and an excellent reputation. You can find personal injury law firm in Orange County. Some things your attorney should discuss with you include;
- The likelihood of getting a judgment or settlement
- Whether arbitration will work well
- The length of the case
- The amount you can expect to receive
Keep accurate records of the accident. They may come in handy if a lawsuit arises from the accident. Some of these records include;
- Police reports about the accident
- Damage and inspection reports, including valuations for totaled vehicles and repair estimates
- Medical reports, treatment records, bills, or reports from any medical specialist you consult after the accident.
- A personal journal detailing the physical and emotional consequences of the accident that need compensation.
These records will help you protect yourself.
Go for a Medical Checkup After a Car Accident
Often, injuries from accidents do not show immediately. Get a complete medical evaluation after the car accident. Failure to do so may lead to health complications. Some injuries, such as soft tissue injuries, may not be visible until weeks after the incident. Also, you must see the right doctor. Apart from visits to the ER and your primary physician, you need to book an appointment with a chiropractor. They know how to find soft tissue and vertebrae, injuries after accidents. Keep the medical reports safe, as they might come in handy later.
Accidents have long-term effects that impact the way you live your life. To make sure that you minimize the damages and your rights protected, follow the above guidelines.