What to Do if You Get in an Auto Accident
Many people who climb behind the wheel of a car are concerned with their own driving, but the truth is that many of the two million passengers and drivers who are injured in automobile accidents each year were hurt through someone else’s mistake. No matter how careful you are, you can’t control the cars speeding around you. Collisions happen every day, but it can be difficult to remember what to do if you find yourself a victim of an auto accident. Here are a few things to keep in mind if this happens to you.
1. Remain at the scene and attract attention to yourself. Leaving the scene of an accident can lead to severe criminal and civil legal ramifications and failing to use flashers or flares could cause other cars to crash into you. Keep safe by staying put and making yourself as visible as possible.
2. Phone for help. If you’ve been involved in an auto accident, it’s important to notify the authorities. Police officers can assure that both parties receive accurate insurance information so your car will be taken care of and any injuries you’ve received will be treated.
3. Record the incident. If you have a camera, take pictures of any damage to the car and injuries on your body. Remember that not all injuries manifest immediately, so pay close attention to any stiffness or discomfort you feel. Be sure that you give the police officer accurate information and exchange details with the other driver that may be necessary to resolve any issues.
4. Alert your insurance. You’ll need to let them know about the incident as soon as possible so they can begin filing paperwork for the claim.
5. Visit a doctor. While you may not immediately feel the effects of the injury, even minor impacts can cause significant damage. Sometimes the pain isn’t felt till later and if you settle with your insurance company before you report any physical damage, you’ll be stuck paying your medical bills on your own.
6. Save all records. When you’ve been involved in an accident, you’ll want to keep all papers, claims, phone numbers and anything else related to the accident in case you need it later. Also keep receipts for things like car rental fees and repair costs.
7. Seek Legal Advice. After being involved in an accident, it can be confusing to determine the best course of action to protect yourself and ensure you’re fully compensated. Contacting an attorney for guidance on how to proceed through this difficult time.