Millions of accidents occur every year in the United States. We are so used to driving as part of our everyday routines that we forget the inherent risk involved with getting on the road.
These accidents can be life-altering. The damage and injuries caused can derail one’s life and cause an immense amount of pain and suffering. A victim of an automobile accident does have a right to compensation to get their lives back on track, but there are important steps that need to be taken right after the incident occurs.
Do you know what to do after an accident? Read on and we’ll walk you through what you need to know.
Check Yourself and Others
Immediately following an accident, the safety of yourself, the passengers, the other driver, and others on the road takes precedent. You need to immediately check in on yourself: have you been badly injured? Has anyone in your vehicle?
If so, calling 911 immediately is a must. Even if you feel perfectly fine, do a thorough check of yourself. Often, adrenaline masks pains, aches, and injuries due to the shock of an accident occurring. You might be hurt and not realize it.
Once you’ve checked on your own vehicle, turn your hazards on and alert other drivers on the road to the accident. The last thing you want is another impact with another vehicle. If it’s dark, consider putting a flare up on the roadway.
Check the status of the other driver? Are they okay? If not, call an ambulance right away.
Gather Evidence For Your Case
If you were in an automobile accident as a result of another driver’s negligence, that driver may owe you compensation under the law. In order to receive this compensation, you’ll need to make your case to that driver’s insurance company.
Of course, that means you’ll need to find a lawyer. But you can begin building your case the moment you step out of your vehicle. You need to gather evidence that displays the damage done and potentially helps to prove the burden of blame.
You carry a little phone around in your pocket, so use it! Take photos and video of the scene of the accident. Show where the cars are in relation to one another. Make sure to photograph damage to your automobile and document any injuries you or others have sustained.
Witness and Police Statements
When it comes to winning a settlement, the word of third parties can carry a lot of weight. It’s important to interact with others nearby the accident who might have valuable information.
If there are any witnesses nearby, get their contact information. If you can, record a simple early statement of what they saw and how they believe the accident occurred.
When the police arrive, walk them through the facts (and only the facts!) of the accident. Their police record will be a primary source of evidence later on in your case.
What To Do After An Accident
If you don’t know what to do after an accident, you could risk losing the opportunity to be compensated for the damages you’ve sustained. It’s important to understand the above information and take immediate action following an accident.
Have more questions? Check out our law page for more.