Around two million people get involved in a car accident every year in the United States. This statistic means that chances are pretty good that you or someone you know will be in an accident at some point in your life.
Even a seemingly minor car crash can have serious consequences. Many people underestimate the potential damage that a minor collision can cause, which often leads to them making mistakes following the accident. It’s important to remember that any car accident can result in serious injuries, so it’s crucial to take the vital steps to protect yourself and ensure that any legal case you may have is as successful as possible.
Here are four crucial things you should prioritize as soon as an accident happens:
Check on Every Person Involved
After a car accident, it is essential to prioritize your health and the health of the other people involved. Make sure to check on everyone and see if anyone is badly hurt. If someone is injured, you should seek medical help immediately. Even if you don’t think you are injured, it is still a good idea to get checked out by the nearest doctor to be safe.
People involved in a major car crash and suffer from injuries should not move away or exert effort. If you try to move, it can often do more harm than good and lead to further damages. If you are involved in a significant car accident, stay in your car and wait for help to arrive. Health should always be a priority during the accident, making health check the initial step following the event. That’s if you are conscious.
Contact Proper Authorities
One of the most valuable things to remember after a car accident is staying calm and waiting for emergency medical response and law enforcement. Many people make the critical mistake of leaving the accident scene before waiting for help to arrive. This strategy can often lead to further injuries or even death.
Leaving the scene of an accident can also have legal consequences. In most states, it could be illegal to leave the scene of an accident without providing your information to the other driver. If you get caught fleeing, you could face criminal charges.
It is also vital to remember that not all car accidents result in a police report. If there are no injuries and both drivers agree that there was no negligence on either side, you may not file a police report. However, if there are injuries or property damage, one of the parties will likely file a police report.
In either case, you should always exchange information with the other driver. This form includes your name, contact information, insurance company, and policy number. You should also get the other driver’s personal information, primarily when pursuing criminal charges.
If you can, you should document the accident scene. This step includes taking pictures of the damage to both cars and writing down all the vehicles’ license plate numbers. If there are any witnesses of the horrific car accident, you should get their contact information.
This evidence can be critical in a potential legal case. Documenting the accident will help prove that the crash was not your fault and that you were acting within the law.
If the accident is serious enough to leave someone injured, you should call the police right away. The police will create a report of the accident, which can be significant evidence if you decide to file a personal injury claim. Even if the accident is not severe, it is still a good idea to collect evidence at the accident scene. If you can do this right after the accident, it will make filing a claim much easier later on.
Hire a Lawyer
If you received an injury due to a car accident or if the event led to significant property damage, you should seek legal advice. A car accident lawyer can help you file a claim against the other driver and can help you get the compensation you deserve.
If you are not injured, and the damage to your car is minimal, you may not need a lawyer. However, it remains a good car accident idea to consult with one to ensure you are doing everything correctly.
Following the four car accident steps mentioned above can help ensure that you are safe and protected after a car accident. It will be a horrific situation to find yourself in, especially when it is your first time. The problem might even get worse when the event is a significant car crash that took people’s lives. The first thing you should take care of during that situation is yourself, and these steps can save you.