What To Do Before, During, and After an Auto Accident
No matter how safely you drive, an auto accident is always a risk you take on the road. Sometimes an accident is inevitable. However, if you have car insurance, you should be entitled to recompense for damages and injuries sustained in the accident, especially if the accident was caused by someone else. Unfortunately, sometimes we have to stand up for ourselves in order to ensure that we get the compensation that we deserve.
There's nothing smooth about an auto accident. However, if you take the right steps, you should minimize the disaster, enabling you to get back on your feet as soon as possible. Here are a few steps to take before, during, and after an auto accident in order to stay safe, and guard your rights.
Before the Accident
A car accident can happen anytime and anywhere, so you should always make sure you carry these in case of an accident:
- A copy of your motor vehicle accident checklist
- Your insurance card, license, and registration
- A first aid kit
At the Scene of the Accident
During the scene of the accident, you are going to be shaken up, scared, and possibly hurt. Your first priority is always to stay safe and well. Prioritize your health and safety, and only move if you feel able. Only move onto the road as you deem it safe, and use your hazard lights to warn other drivers on the road. If you are able to move and exit the car, here are some positive steps that you can take next:
- Stay at the scene. Never leave a scene. whether it was your fault or not, as leaving a scene of the auto accident before business is taken care of makes you look guilty. Take a deep breath, and don't panic.
- Check yourself and others for injuries. In case of injuries, call an ambulance if one has not already been called.
- Call the police if there are injuries, death or property damage. Even if no one is injured, it's still a good idea to call the police because they will file a police report which can be used down the line to state your claim.
- If possible, move the cars out of traffic. If this is not possible at least turn your hazard lights on so other cars are aware of the situation and don't make a bad situation even worse!
- Take lots of photos. You can do this with the camera on your phone. Take pictures of your injuries, the surroundings of the auto accident, and anything that you can photograph that might show why the accident happened.
- You should also be jotting down notes of what you remember from accident. These will be used as evidence for your claim.
- Get other drivers' and witnesses' names, phone numbers, and addresses as well as their license information.
What NOT to Do
There are also things you shouldn't be doing:
- Do not sign any papers
- Do not admit fault or place blame on someone else
- Do not allow your license to be photographed by someone else
After You Leave the Scene
Certain precautions will protect you down the line. It's possible that right after the accident, you won't believe that you'd ever have to go to court to defend your rights. However, we see far too many clients who are disabled, out of work, in pain, and unable to get the compensation they're entitled to from an insurance company. The following measures protect you, your rights, and document your case if needed.
- Contact a lawyer as soon as possible and get a free consultation.
- Get medical treatment. Not only is it important to get treatment after an auto accident for your health and safety but when you visit a hospital and your primary doctor, everything is documented.
- Get a copy of the accident report.
For a free consultation or to learn about your legal rights contact Welmaker.