5 Do’s and 4 Don’ts After a Car Accident
Automobiles and American culture go hand-in-hand. Unfortunately, so do accidents. Around the world there are thousands of crashes every day, and many of them happen in the U.S. Recently Newsweek reported that 2015 had more traffic accidents since 2007. In the first half of the year alone there were 2.3 million serious injuries, 19,000 deaths and $152 billion in associated costs.
Despite improved technology, traffic accidents are a reality on the road. It’s a possible risk any time you get behind the wheel no matter how safely you drive.
The legal team at http://www.coloradolaw.net/ has helped countless clients involved in auto accidents. They say the best thing a person can do is be prepared by knowing what they should and shouldn’t do before an accident actually occurs.
Do Get Off the Road If Possible
Accidents can become even more dangerous if others are driving by. Whenever possible, drivers should move their cars off the road or at least into the caution lane to avoid blocking traffic and other potential collisions.
Do Call 9-1-1 Even If There Isn’t an Injury
If anyone is injured or feeling pain after the accident call 9-1-1 immediately. Some of the worst car accident injuries aren’t noticeable on the outside. Even concussions can be serious and need immediate medical attention to protect the person from further injury.
No matter how small the accident seems you should always call the police to the scene. Their records will help you during the insurance claim process and if any legal matters arise. The police can also help to secure the area and render aid if needed. Try to stay calm and stick to the facts when discussing the accident with the police. But never say the accident was your fault because this opens you up to a huge liability. Ask for their name and badge number as well as how you can get a copy of the report.
Do Exchange Insurance Information
After calling 9-1-1, make sure to exchange insurance information with the other driver. You’ll need to know who their insurer is, how to contact them and make sure their policy is up-to-date. It’s also a good idea to get their personal phone number and license plate number.
Do Call Your Insurance Company and Their Insurance Company Immediately
While on the scene call your insurance company to let them know what happened and that the police are there writing a report. They can advise you on the next steps to take to get the claims process started. Share the other driver’s insurance information so that your company can get it on record. Before leaving also call the other driver’s insurance company to verify the information you’ve received is correct. Too often people supply fake information leaving you to correct the problem on your own.
Do Contact a Lawyer If There is an Injury or Extensive Damage
Your insurance company can help you get the car fixed in most situations, but they can’t always cover you fully or hold the other liable party responsible. That’s when it helps to have a lawyer that specializes in automobile accidents. Any time there is a dispute or injuries an attorney will need to be involved to help protect your rights and financial well being.
Don’t Just Drive Away If It Doesn’t Seem Serious
If you don’t stop, check to make sure people in the other car aren’t injured and exchange information it could be considered a crime depending on what state you’re in.
More often people just exchange information and drive away if they get into a fender bender or accident that doesn’t show outward signs of serious damage. Both the people and vehicles involved could be harmed without you knowing it. That’s why virtually every insurance company and legal expert says that you need to call a police officer out for formal recording of the accident and to assess the situation.
Don’t Forget to Take Pictures
Just because a cop is on the scene and taking notes doesn’t mean they’re taking pictures. It’s important to snap shots of the vehicles before you move them out of the way and afterward as well. This will document the damage and circumstances of the accident, which will be hard to dispute if a legal matter arises.
Don’t Let Witnesses Walk Away
If someone witnessed the accident get their name, number and a brief statement from them. This can prove to be invaluable if the two drivers dispute what occurred.
Don’t Freak Out
It’s easy to lose your cool after an accident, but that’s the last thing you want to do. Remain calm when talking to the police, paramedics, the other driver and anyone else involved in the accident. Getting irate isn’t going to help matters and could make things a lot worse. If you let your emotions get the best of you, you won’t be able to properly assess the situation and take all the necessary steps noted above.