When you hit the road, getting into an accident is the last thing on your mind. But they do happen. Click here to know what to do after a car accident.
But the road also presents a number of risks. Accidents are more common than we like to believe, and many can leave victims seriously injured. It's not fun to think about the worst case scenario, but it's essential to be prepared.
An accident can leave you disoriented, dazed, or even in shock. Only by properly preparing for such a situation can you take control. The moments after a car accident are key to securing the well-being of your health and your financial future.
Read on as we walk you through everything you should do following a car accident.
Properly Assess the Situation
The first thing you need to do following an accident is to get your bearings. This may sound obvious, but it's actually more difficult to do after an accident than you may initially believe.
Even checking up on your own well-being can be hard to do. Adrenaline floods the body following an event like an accident. This adrenaline is meant to protect our body, but it can also prevent us from feeling pains or aches.
This means that while you may feel fine directly after an accident, it doesn't mean that you haven't been hurt or injured. Even serious injuries can feel like nothing under the influence of pumping adrenaline.
Immediately following an accident, the most important thing is the safety of all involved. Check on yourself and the other driver or drivers. If anyone is seriously hurt, make sure to call 911 immediately.
If there are bystanders around, ask them for their assistance.
As soon as possible, get yourself and others out of the way of danger. Move to the side of the road and away from passing cars. This can help ensure further accidents and injuries do not happen.
The Next Steps
If you and everyone involved in the accident are alright, that's good news. But what happens next can be some of the most important moments in determining your future.
Approach other drivers and obtain their contact information as well as information about their insurance coverage. Be sure to be thorough in collecting this information. For example, try to get more than one telephone number where you can reach them.
Be prepared to give the same information about yourself back to them. Everyone having everyone's information will speed up the claims process later on.
You must wait for the police to arrive on the scene. It's a legal precedent, but their statement will also be essential evidence for your case later on. The investigating officer will likely ask a few questions about the accident and note evidence from the site.
The word of an investigating officer is usually what establishes fault in a claims case. It's important to make sure you point of view of the accident is accurately represented on the statement. You can request a copy of the statement following the accident and ensure that your words and meaning were transcribed properly.
Gather Additional Evidence
You might feel shocked or dazed after an accident, but it's important to take the proper steps to protect yourself in the future. While you're waiting for or after speaking to the police, make sure to take as many photos of the accident scene as possible.
These photos can help establish an objective perspective on the accident. The more photos you have, the better. It's good to get wider photos that establish the overall scene, as well as close up photos that better detail specific damage to your vehicle.
It can also be beneficial to get photos of objects damaged as a result of the accident, including light posts, guard rails, or other such things.
Go See A Doctor
Your health and well-being is the most important thing.
Even when you feel healthy and fine following an accident, there may be complications that you're not aware of. Pain from certain injuries can take weeks to manifest. You must get a medical evaluation following an accident to ensure that you are okay.
Going immediately to get a medical evaluation will mean doctors can help you before your injuries get worse. Early identification and treatment can make a world of difference when it comes to a number of injuries. This includes concussions and cases of internal bleeding.
This medical evaluation will serve more purposes than one. It will also serve as the main point of evidence in your claim against the insurance company. If you've been injured in any way, you deserve compensation for those injuries.
Waiting to get a medical evaluation will look bad for your claim. If you delay getting an evaluation, an insurance company may be able to claim you exhibited contributory negligence when it comes to your injuries.
If this is the case, the amount that you'll be able to claim in damages will be severely limited. In some situations, you may be prevented from filing a claim at all.
No matter how you feel after an accident, at the very first opportunity you should head to a doctor to get an evaluation.
What To Do After A Car Accident
A car accident can be a traumatic and terrifying event. Despite this, it's important to try and keep your head following an accident. By securing the proper information and taking the proper actions, you can secure your well-being in the future.
Have you been injured in an accident? Contact us for immediate assistance.