We all hope that we’ll never have to experience it, but the truth of the matter is that many people are involved in car accidents in one way or another every day.
Whether you’re hit from behind, become part of a pile-up, or are responsible for a head-on collision, there is a set of steps that you should follow any time you’re involved in an auto accident.
While the moments following a traumatic crash can be overwhelming, having a system in mind will make it easier to ensure you perform all the proper tasks and give yourself the most protection possible for any medical or legal issues to come.
Any good auto accident attorney will tell you to follow these seven steps to protect your car, health, and insurance down the road.
1) Examine Yourself and Any Passengers For Injuries
The first thing to do is to check yourself for any apparent injuries. What about the people riding with you? Check to see if everyone is okay and call for emergency assistance if medical care is needed.
2) Move To a Safe Location
Most of the time, car accidents don’t happen in parking lots or on the side of the road. You will need to move yourself and your car, if possible, to a safe location where no other cars are driving. From here, you can begin to call 911 and document the crash.
3) Call 911
It’s always a good idea to report your accident to the local police to have the incident on record. Some people will try to settle the accident without police intervention. This may seem like a good idea at the time, but it can leave you in a vulnerable position later on if you have medical issues or your car costs more to fix than anticipated.
4) Document the Crash and Exchange Information
Don’t leave the scene without taking photos of the crash in detail and writing down anything else that may be important. You also need to exchange personal contact and insurance information with the other driver. Double-check that the information is accurate so you can contact them if needed once you both leave the scene.
5) See a Doctor As Soon As Possible
Even if you feel fine, don’t delay going to see a doctor. There may be other underlying conditions that you don’t realize, and having the earliest medical documentation of these issues will strengthen your personal injury case, if necessary.
6) Notify Insurance
You’ll need to let your insurance know about the crash, whether it was your fault or not. Depending on your coverage, this may impact your monthly premium. You will only know once you’re able to discuss the accident’s details with your insurance agent.
7) Contact An Attorney
Your auto accident attorney will be able to guide you further. You may be eligible for a personal injury case, but determining this will require a thorough evaluation of the events and results that occurred. Once you’ve been seen by a doctor and have notified your insurance company of the crash, it’s always smart to reach out to an experienced attorney to discover whether you have a case.
A Protocol For Protection
It’s easy to get caught up in the adrenaline after a car crash. Too many people leave the scene without proper documentation or fail to exchange information with the driver, leaving them in a challenging position later. By following the seven steps above, you’ll protect not only your car and your insurance but also your health.