The minutes that come after a vehicular accident are often filled with confusion, fear, and ambivalence. Because of this, most people who are involved are often left in a state of shock following the traumatic event. Even though it is a normal reaction to be confused and shocked, you must stand your ground, gather your thoughts, and carry on particular tasks after the accident. It is certainly needed, especially if the accident was not your fault. Remember, not being able to do specific duties that pertain to the event may result in future problems.
To help you get through such an unfortunate event like a car accident, here are some points coming from an expert Personal Injury Lawyer on the things that you should do and what not to do after the incident.
What to Do
Experiencing an accident, such as a car crash, can be very traumatic. However, being on your toes is essential, especially after the accident. Here are six tips on what you should do following an accident.
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1. Immediately seek help.
While it is essential to know how much damage your vehicle sustained, you and your companion’s safety is of utmost importance. If you can, immediately seek help. Call the police or the emergency services hotline. Remember that everyone will require medical attention, even if there is no visible injury. Plus, the medical report of all the people involved will be included in the police report. These documents are essential when a settlement is to be set. Therefore, as a general rule, before you go out of the vehicle or do anything else, make sure to call for help while you still have the energy to do so.
2. Take pictures.
Once you finish ensuring that you are fine and do not need immediate medical assistance, the next thing you should do is to take out your phone and take relevant pictures. Take photos of all vehicles involved, their exact position, damages sustained, and any road markings of the accident.
Also, make sure to take photos of specific details, including the license plates and distinguishing characteristics such as car upgrades, color, scratches, and bumps. If the vehicles need to be moved aside because of safety concerns, take as many photos as you can before they do so.
3. Find witnesses.
If another person is at fault for the accident, meaning you are the victim, chances are there are bystanders who saw the incident. These bystanders are essential for your case. Take the initiative and ask around. Seek testimonials from nearby establishments, such as restaurants and convenient stores. Ask permission to obtain their contact information, so that you may call them if there is any additional information that you need to ask them. If required, ask if they can at least provide their statements to the police for proper documentation.
4. Gather all pertinent information.
Gather all pertinent information by taking notes. You may think that you can easily remember all the details. While there is a possibility that you may, indeed, you do not want to go through a painful ordeal of collecting all the information again because you forgot something.
Why? It is because not all people have good memories. It means that while the incident is still fresh in the minds of those involved, take the opportunity to put down all the details needed for what happened. Plus, ask the driver of the other car all the information about the vehicle that he is driving. Include the make, year model, type, and the person to whom the vehicle is registered. Also, remember to take note of the vehicle’s plate number and car insurance details.
5. Contact your car insurance company.
Once you have the pictures and all the pertinent details, take a break, and start contacting your car insurance company. Inform them of what happened and what is going on at the very moment that you are calling.
6. Collect all your valuables from the vehicle.
Ensure that you are able to get all your valuables from your vehicle before it is towed off. It is a smart way as you won’t precisely know immediately where the authorities will bring your car.
What Not To Do
Knowing the things that you should not do is just as essential as knowing those that you have to do after a car accident. Following the car accident, remember NOT TO DO the things listed below to avoid the additional hassle.
1. Immediately admit that the accident is your fault.
Never ever immediately tell the other driver that the incident is your fault. Even if it may seem that you caused the accident, do not go on record just yet without proper investigation from the authorities.
2. Drive away from the accident.
While it is possible to feel the urge to drive away from the accident location, you must remember that it is necessary to stay and face the situation. Never leave, especially if you think that it is your fault. Make sure to go down, check you and your companion’s safety, and communicate appropriately with the other party, but do remember that you shouldn’t admit fault. Leaving the scene will cause legal implications, which no one wants.
3. Agree to settle, even without legal advice.
Instead of having the settlement done legally, some drivers might try to persuade you that they will pay you directly. Never accept such negotiations until you speak with your lawyer. Doing so might create more problems instead of having a proper and just settlement.
4. Communicate with the other driver’s car insurance company.
Speaking with the other driver’s car insurance company might bring more problems than good. They might talk you out of paying for the accident. Or worse, they might trick you into admitting to causing the accident immediately while you are still at the scene. This way, they will have to pay less than what they have to. Now, a smart decision is not to speak with anyone else other than the authorities and your lawyer.
5. Wait several days before getting a lawyer.
Lastly, but certainly not least, many people think that skipping getting a lawyer to help them settle their car accident cases can lessen their expenses. Wrong. According to a Personal Injury Lawyer, waiting too long to contact a lawyer will put you into more trouble. You should call your lawyer immediately after the accident. Your lawyer will be able to assist you throughout the whole process of dealing with the authorities, the other party, and your car insurance company. He will also be able to legally communicate with the other driver’s insurance company without complications. Your lawyer will make sure that you will receive proper and just compensation for any damages following the accident.
While no one wishes to go through the ordeal of handling the aftermath of a car accident, it is best to know the things that you should do and not do. Moreover, keep in mind that having an experienced car accident lawyer to deal with all the hullabaloo will help you get through the process smoothly. Doing so will help you get over such a traumatic incident and move on with your life.