With the growing rate of population, there are many more cars on the street. Unfortunately, that means the frequency of car accidents is also increasing. Millions of car accidents occur every year in the United States alone. Luckily most of them only result in property damage. However, many still lead to personal injury or even death. If you are involved in one, there are certain things that you can do to protect yourself and your interests. Here are a few of them:
After an accident, the worst thing you can do is drive away. You should always stop immediately after a crash. It doesn’t matter if it’s small or big. The only reason you should move your car is if it is impeding traffic.
Call The Authorities
After parking safely, immediately call the police. It doesn’t matter if the accident resulted in severe damage to property and health, or it just caused a dent on the bumper, you should always call the cops and report. Insurance companies require you to show a police report, they may not accept your claim otherwise.
Protect The Scene
It often happens that other cars crash after the initial accident. Try to protect the area with some sort of warning signal such as traffic cones or flares. It is a good idea to turn on the emergency, or any other, lights of a car. Consider waiting by the side of the road if you are not able to move your vehicle out of traffic or give any warning indication to other drivers in the dark.
You should exchange names, addresses, and phone numbers of all parties involved in the accident. The police usually do this, but it’s a good habit to do yourself as well. Ask the drivers of the other vehicles for their insurance information as well. Get details concerning any witnesses; this will make it easier to file any claims or lawsuits.
If you happen to have a camera on you, or your mobile has one, then take pictures of all visible damage to the vehicles. Photograph your injuries too, if you were injured on impact. But don’t interfere with any police investigations. If you are not allowed to take pictures of the scene, then leave it to the authorities.
Make An Accurate Record
When the police arrive, give a statement that is as accurate as possible. Many people are traumatized and don’t remember specific details; let the officer know that as well. Don’t try to guess anything or repeat any facts that aren’t true. If you are injured, inform them as well. Some injuries aren’t visible or felt until a couple hours after an incident, which is why you shouldn’t say no if you are unsure. Make sure the other party involved in the accident also gives an accurate statement of events.
Contact Your Insurance Company
May policies require people to inform the company about the accident immediately and to cooperate completely. That is why you should call your insurance company as soon as possible and also check if they cover medical as well. The medical coverage is a premium, which is why you should use it if it is included.
Hire A Lawyer
The most important thing that anyone should do after an accident is to call a lawyer. An experienced attorney will protect your rights. It is also essential to get legal advice before giving any statements to the insurance corporations as they have been known to take advantage of people. A lawyer can also help you against any lawsuits if the other party isn’t cooperating. The Millar Law Firm can help if there are personal injuries.