10 Critical Steps To Take After A Car Accident
Year after year we get to read reports of accidents along the motorways. In fact is estimated that each year records over 6 million automobile accidents, most of them involving damage to vehicles and property of great value.
Both fatal and non-fatal injuries to car occupants also do happen. Regardless of whose fault it is, here is what to do after a car accident.
You Need To Immediately Stop
However minor and insignificant an accident may appear to be, you always need to stop, and not to try to drive away.
Keep Extremely Calm
Agitation, confusion and fear may descent all at once in such a scenario. However, you need to take a deep breath, and stay collected, so as not to make further misjudgments. The truth is that the calmer you are the more you can see things from a clearer angle, and make more rational decisions.
You Need To Protect the Scene of Accident
Protective and safety measures include keeping flashers on, to warn other motorists. It is even more urgent to do so if you have had an accident on a dark road. In the event that the motor flash is not working, try to use a flashlight instead, as you wait to for help to come your way.
Call for Police Investigation
It does not matter how minor the accident is, it’s critical that you call, and inform the police. The police report is vital as it’s a document you need when making insurance claims. Again, it’s important for the vehicles which have been involved in the accident to remain exactly where they are. Movement should only be done if they are somehow obstructing traffic, or have the potential to cause further accidents.
Report Exactly What Happened
It’s vital for you to make a true and accurate report on exactly what happened. It should be so, even if you are the person on the wrong side to the law. Again, if you do not remember the whole sequence of events, you should let the police officer know that is the case.
Detail all kinds of injuries you may have sustained. Apparently, the investigating officer should be taking photographs as part of the documentation.
At the same time ensure that individuals who were in the collision with you are also stating the exact situation as it happened, so as to have a completely uniform report.
Take Photographic Evidence
When it comes to claims, a typical NY car accident attorney always asks for tangible evidence. Needless to say, it is crucial as it supports you in telling your side of the story. In this case, pictures may just come in handy.
You, therefore, need to take pictures of the accident scene and the very visible damages to the car. Also, capture the number plates of the vehicle involved. Otherwise, be also careful not to interfere with police investigation at the scene of the accident.
Exchange All the Relevant Information
An important practice during such an unfortunate occurrence is to try to exchange crucial information with the other party in the collision. It should be even more urgent if the police have not arrived as scheduled. Crucial information includes;
- Name and addresses of each other
- Insurance details of the other party
- Contact details of any witness to the accident for future reference
- Keep well the police report number which is used once they make a report at the scene of the accident.
Point to note: You need to strictly observe road accident rules such as the need to report an accident to the state police in case the automobile accident has occurred along a highway.
Keep All Documentation Safely
All information, including images, related to the accident need to be securely kept. Basically, such information including the police report number that you might have been issued at the scene of the accident; names of all people involved; number plates of the vehicles and photographic evidence of any injuries sustained. You also need to keep receipts of any expenses that you might have incurred as a result of the accident.
Call for an Ambulance, and Medical Attention
You also need to seek medical assistance, for you and any other person that could have been involved in the accident. You should basically do this immediately if injuries seem to be serious. But even minor changes in the way you feel should be cause for medical attention.
Sometimes what you may think is a minor and negligible bump or laceration may turn out to be more serious. it is also common for internal injuries not to show immediately. You can realize hours later after the accident occurred, that the situation is, in fact, more serious than assumed.
You Need To Consult With an Attorney
Your rights take precedence in an automobile accident. You, therefore, need to make due consultation with an attorney who can protect your rights. If you do not know how, then simply search for New York Personal Injury Lawyers, to get a heads up.
They ensure that none of your documentation gets misplaced or lost along the way. Also, you need to be extremely careful not to provide any information to an insurance company before you have first spoken to your attorney. They are always in the best-placed position to equip you with the necessary legal advice.
Your attorney can advise on a wide range of legal issues including how you can receive full compensation for your car or injuries you and other occupants could have sustained.
Car accidents do happen, just out of the blue. It’s the very reason you need to equip yourself with the above must-dos.
Irrespective of how chaotic the situation is, you need to keep as much evidence as you can for future litigation and insurance claims.
You also need to seek proper medical attention; once calm is partially restored you can seek legal aid. The best thing is that you do not have to pay legal fees in advance; this can be done once your attorney recovers compensation for damages.