Being involved in a car accident is a really terrible experience and one that, unfortunately, many people experience at some point in their life. Even small accidents can cause a lot of damage to your car and leave you with painful and debilitating injuries that can affect your life and cost you a lot to treat. Straight after being in a car accident, you are likely to be feeling disorientated and in shock, so knowing what to do right away can be difficult. It is important that you do the right things and avoid common mistakes in order to set yourself up for a smooth recovery.
To help everyone out there who has been in a crash, here are the vital steps to take immediately after being involved in a car accident.
1. Exchange Driver’s Information
The first thing you will need to do if you have been in an accident involving other vehicles is to exchange relevant information with the other drivers. These details will include their name, insurance number, contact details, and license plate number. It is very important that you obtain this information as you will need to use it if you wish to make a compensation claim against someone. If the other drivers are angry, injured, or refuse to give you their information, take a note of their license plate number and a description of both the driver and their vehicle, and go back to your car. Do not get involved in any arguments as you don’t know who they are or what they might do. People are often in shock after an accident and may be enraged or act erratically, so it is important to think about your safety first.
2. Wait for the Police
If there is a confrontation with the other drivers or any other issue arises, then make sure to contact the police. If the accident was a serious one, they might have already been dispatched, but if not, you can call them yourself. The police will be able to calm the situation down and take statements from everyone involved. Using these statements and other evidence at the scene, the police will file a police report based on what they found and what they believe in having happened. You can ask for a copy of this police report either at the scene or at a later date to use as evidence in any future legal proceedings.
3. Speak to an Attorney
It is important to speak to an experienced attorney following even a minor accident with other vehicles. Different states have different laws, so you should always look for a local firm that has experience practicing in your jurisdiction. In Nevada, for example, drivers are required by law to have a certain amount of liability insurance in case they cause someone else’s injury or death. Moreover, one car accident lawyer in Las Vegas explained that without this insurance, that person could be held immediately responsible for an accident, no matter what the circumstances. Your lawyer will speak to all of the other parties involved, deal with difficult insurance companies and their aggressive legal teams, and ensure that your rights are protected.
4. Contact Your Insurance Company
The next thing you will need to do is contact your insurance company to get the claims process rolling. It is worth doing this even before you have bills for car repairs or medical costs just to give them a heads up before making a claim. If your insurance company is in any way hostile to you when you contact them, or make inclinations that they are not willing to pay, just let your attorneys deal with them while you focus on recovery.
5. Seek Medical Attention
Seeking immediate medical attention is crucial following a car accident so that the doctor can assess your injuries and get started on your treatment right away. Many people make the mistake of not going to the hospital after an accident because they don’t feel in pain. It is very common for the shock to cover up injuries, so even if you don’t think you are hurt, you should still go for a checkup. Make sure you explain to the doctor the circumstances of the car crash so that they will be added to the medical report. This can then be used as evidence in the case.
All car crashes are physically, mentally, and emotionally traumatic, but it is vital that you do the right things following an accident. Follow this guide, and you will be protected medically and legally so that you are able to recover quickly from the accident.