An estimated 16,438 vehicle crashes per day in the United States, so the likelihood that you’ll be involved in an incident over your driving career is likely.
In the worst cases, these crashes can not only damage property but injure people. Unfortunately, there is nearly 3,287 death a day around the world due to car crashes.
And for the crashes don’t end in a loss of life; many times, the people involved are impacted negatively for months or years afterward.
So knowing the steps to take after a car accident is of tantamount importance. These steps can protect not only you but other people on the road.
Also, if legal action is called for, you’ll have done your due diligence.
In the following article, we’ll detail what to do after a car accident to ensure everyone involved remains safe.
Even a fender bender in a parking lot can add a lot of stress and pressure to your life. Always remember to take a second and gather yourself after the car accident.
You’ll need to make some judgment calls and talk to the other parties involved, and you don’t want to make the situation worse by panicking.
Check for Injuries
Always check yourself first for injuries. Sometimes car accident injuries can take a few moments to make themselves apparent as your adrenaline is surging. Move slow and use your rearview mirror to inspect your face.
If you are with someone else, ask your passenger to look you over and do the same for them. If either of you is seriously hurt, do not move. Moving with an injury can do more damage. If injured, stay as still as you can until help arrives.
Later, a car accident lawyer can help your best judge how to proceed after you’ve received medical attention.
Move Your Vehicle Off the Road
If your vehicle is operable, move it as far onto the roadway’s shoulder as you can and turn your hazard light son. If you have to exit the vehicle for any reason, be careful to watch for oncoming traffic.
Also, if your vehicle won’t move, get yourself and anyone else involved in the crash as far off the road as possible. If you have flares, use them to alert other drivers of the vehicles blocking the road.
Check for Vehicle Damage
Next, do a vehicle inspection. Take a look at any damage to your vehicle and the other party’s car if possible. If you have a camera or cellphone, take pictures of the damage. You’ll need these pictures to share with your insurance company and possibly your attorney.
Report Incident to the Police
If your vehicle has sustained serious damage or the crash has resulted in an injury, then you should call the police immediately. You’ll need to file a police report not only to protect yourself from litigation but to make sure there is an accurate third-party accounting of the crash.
If you have time before the authorities arrive, consider drawing a diagram of how the incident occurred.
You’ll need to exchange names and insurance information with the other people involved in the crash. Be aware that different states have different requirements on information exchanges after a crash.
Useful information to obtain includes:
- Make and model of the cars involved
- Phone numbers
- Witness information
- And the name, department, and badge number of the responding officer
Legal Steps to Take After a Car Accident
If you or the other party in the accident suffered property damage or were injured, you will not only need to call your insurance carrier but may need to seek legal help also.
Knowing your legal responsibilities and requirements are important steps to take after a car accident. If you have any questions about how you should proceed after a crash, don’t hesitate to obtain legal guidance.
A good lawyer can save you not only money but personal turmoil and stress.
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