There is a rise in the number of road accidents in the United States and other regions. The rise gets facilitated by many things. These include an increased number of road users, careless driving, and failing to follow the set traffic rules. At least one out of three accidents causes body injuries to the occupants or passersby, with the rest causing damages. What do you do when involved in such accidents? You need to take steps to protect yourself and secure your interests when such misfortune happens. This article will discuss some of the essential steps you need to take if involved in a road accident. Read on for the list.
- Stop and Protect the Scene
Immediately you get into an accident, you need to stop and secure the accident scene. Some people do not follow this rule, especially in minor accidents. It would help not to drive off from an accident scene, no matter how little it is. It is against the law and will make the other party sue you for causing the accident and running away, even when you are not-at-fault. Protecting the scene helps in many ways. First, it prevents other accidents from happening since incoming vehicles might bump into you. Also, securing the scene enables you to preserve the evidence as you wait for the traffic police. How do you secure the scene? You can do so by keeping the flashers on or setting up the flares. If it’s at night and your lights fail to function, you can use the flashlight to warn other motorists. Ensure to step out of the car and find a safer place.
- Call the Police
If you are in a busy traffic area, the police might arrive within minutes of the accident. But, it is crucial to call the police immediately. Calling the police should be a priority in any accident, including those without injuries. Why is it important? The police will access the accident scene and come up with a police report. According to Wyatt Law Corp Car Accident Attorneys, a police report helps confirm the accident. It plays a significant role in your compensation claim. Without it, the insurance company of the driver at-fault may refuse to honor the compensation. It is also a necessary document when the case proceeds to a law court. The police should be the ones to clear the accident scene after taking the report. What if the police fail to come? When the police fail to come or when in a minor accident, you need to report to the police station, record a statement before proceeding your way.
- Make an accurate record
The police, when writing down the report, might ask you some questions about the accident. It would help if you told the officers exactly what happened without twisting the story or hiding the facts. You should never misstate, speculate or guess anything as this report will determine whether you’ll get compensated or not. For instance, if they ask you about injuries, you shouldn’t say no when you aren’t sure. You should make sure that the other party makes an accurate statement on the accident. Any discrepancies to the report might bring issues later.
- Document the accident scene
After giving out your report to the police, you must document the scene before it’s cleared. How do you document the scene? There are many ways of doing so. You can make use of your tablet or smartphone to take pictures of the accident scene. Please take photos of the vehicles at all angles, the road, and the accident scene’s surroundings. You can also record the witnesses’ account of the accident. While doing this, ensure you don’t compromise the evidence or interfere with the police investigation. If you are unable to take the pictures, get someone to take the photos on your behalf. The evidence is significant when seeking compensation. Ensure you hand the same information to your attorney for safekeeping.
- Exchange Information
The police always get the information of the other driver. But you also need to get the same or exchange your information with the other party, especially when the police don’t show up. You need to note down their names, physical address, car details, telephone numbers, and the occupants’ in the vehicle. You should also note any defects in their cars and how they behave, including getting intoxicated. You should also get narration, if possible, from their passengers and record their accounts towards the accident. If the police took the report, you should ask for a copy of the report or get a police report number.
- Report the accident to the insurance company
Sometimes, before leaving the accident scene, you have to report the accident to your insurance company. Some insurance companies need this, and they will direct you on what to do. You need to give them all the details of the accident. Your insurance company will inform you of the next steps, including contacting the driver at-fault insurance company. Failing to report as required can bring issues to your claims.
- Seek Medical Attention
Seeking medical attention should be the first step in severe accidents. You have to evacuate yourself and anyone else at the accident scene and rush them to the hospital for checkups and treatment. You may not need immediate attention with fewer or no injuries until you complete the above. You should seek medical attention on the same day and ensure you get a doctor’s report about injuries sustained. What if I don’t have bruises or pain? Whatever the feeling, you have to visit the hospital for a full medical checkup. You might not feel the pain, but there might be internal injuries.
- Protect your rights
Protecting your rights means hiring an attorney for your case. A reputable attorney safeguards your legal rights. They help in collecting the evidence, getting you more witnesses, and filing your compensation case. The attorneys ensure you get compensated. They will take your case to court if the insurance company at-fault fails to honor your claims as required.
Getting involved in an accident is so devastating and sometimes ruins one’s life. Following the above steps will ensure you recover from it. It also ensures you get adequate compensation, which will sponsor your bills and other needs as you recover. To make this process successful, you have to hire a reputable lawyer to guide you through.