July 8th, 2019 | Updated on June 9th, 2023
In the United States alone, there are approximately one hundred and forty-three daily commuters and six million car accidents every year. Fortunately, statistics show that the majority of these accidents only result in damage to the car, and not the drivers or people in the vehicles.
However, one in three accidents does result in personal injury and over one million car accidents around the world result in fatalities. Furthermore, statistics show that in the United States, a fatality will be the result of every one in ten accidents.
Have you ever been in a car accident? If you have, then you know how it can be a traumatic experience. Even a ‘fender bender’ will likely cause stress. After the accident, it is common to feel stressed and disorientated- not knowing what to do or not thinking clearly.
Therefore, it is imperative that you know the right steps to take now so that you are prepared in the event of an accident. Most people have no idea what to do in the event of an incident. This is especially true if the incident causes injury. Panic can ensue, and you can feel entirely out of your depth.
So, contact your insurance company so that you know what coverage you have. You should be equipped with the following info about compensation so that you know exactly what to do and what coverage you will receive should you be involved in a car accident.
Take a look at this guide, and you will be equipped with the correct steps to follow to ensure that you receive your compensation after an accident.
1. Remain At The Scene
It is normal for people to want to leave the scene after an accident, especially if the accident does not seem so serious. Although it may be tempting, it is critical that you remain at the scene of the accident. If you do leave prematurely, then it could make you look guiltier than you are.
2. Take Precautions At The Scene
If the police have not yet arrived, then you make sure that the scene is safe for other drivers on the road. Set up your hazards or flashers (if they are working), and the triangle. You should take care to ensure that you always have a flashlight packed in the car.
If it is at night, and your hazards are not working, then use the flashlight to make sure that the other drivers are warned. Always remain in a safe place, away from the traffic. If it is safe and applicable, then stay in your car. If remaining in your vehicle is not a viable option, then you should wait on the sidewalk or on the side of the road.
3. Alert The Police
It is tempting to avoid involving the police when the accident is minor. However, the police should be alerted even in the case of minor accidents. This is so that you acquire an official police report. In some insurance claim case, this police report will be required for your insurance claim.
If you do not contact the police and you do not have the police report, then you could risk losing your claim for any damages occurred. Furthermore, a police officer will provide you with an unbiased account of the accident.
4. Ensure That The Report Is Accurate
Once the police officer arrives at the scene of the accident, you will need to make sure that the events are described with accuracy and detail. Once the police officer is ready to take your statement, you should be prepared to explain, in a step-by-step manner, what happened and how the accident transpired.
Things You Shouldn’t Do When Describing The Events:
- Makeup or fabricate details
- Falsify details or events
You should let the officer know if you are unsure whether or not you are injured. The police officer will ask you if you are injured, and if you are unsure, then you should make that clear. Often injuries resulting from car accidents only show up a few hours after the incident. If you tell the officer that you are uninjured, you could jeopardize receiving compensation for injuries that show up later.
5. Document The Scene With Photographs
Take pictures of any damage that you can see. If your car has been damaged, then take photographic evidence. If you are injured, or any person on the scene is injured, it is a good idea to take photographs of the injuries. If you are unable to take pictures because of police investigating your car then just be sure that you take the photos as soon as possible.
6. Acquire The Other Drivers Information
When you are involved in a car incident, it is imperative that you obtain the other driver’s information. Make sure
That You Receive The Following Information:
- Contact number
- Insurance information
Are there any witnesses? If there are witnesses, then you should ask them if you can receive their contact information and their names as well. If the witness gives an account, this can help your claim, especially if you need to resort to working with a lawyer for the insurance claim.
7. Report To Your Insurer
It is best to report the accident to your insurer as soon as possible. By notifying your insurance company immediately, you can help solidify your claim. Before you make any rash decisions, you should go over the fine details about what medical benefits you are eligible for under your insurance plan.
If your medical costs are above what your insurance plan covers for, then you may have to pay extra, or, on the other hand, you may have full coverage for any medical costs as a result of your accident.
8. Seek Medical Attention
Even if you do not feel like you have any injuries from the accident, you should seek medical attention. This is because injuries can often show up several hours after the accident, especially once your adrenaline is normalized. Take the time to visit your general practitioner, or even the emergency room is necessary. This allows you to remove any doubt about possible injuries. Remember, even severe injuries can show up after the accident, and it is essential to have a professional rule out any injury.
Once you are at home, and you are confident that you haven’t sustained severe injuries, it is time to put everything in order. Gather all the documents related to the incident and put them in a file. It is also a good idea to scan them as well so that you have a digital record of every document.
Make Sure That You Have The Following Essential Documents:
- Contact information from the other driver
- Insurance information from the other driver
- Your insurance claim number
- Every receipt and expense that is connected to the accident
10. Connect With An Attorney
This is one of the most crucial steps after an incident has occurred. You should make contact with an attorney that you can trust, and can rely on. This is so that you are aware of and can understand all of the rights that you have after an automobile incident has occurred. Only if you have the right guidance to walk you through this process, and have the proper protection, will you be able to receive the compensation that you should fully. Even if you are fully entitled to compensation from your incident, you should have legal guidance to ensure that you are fully compensated for everything.
The trick is to find an attorney that you can trust. The best attorneys are from agencies that have a wealth of experience in representing clients involved in these types of claims. There are many attorneys out there who can help you, and you should find an attorney that you are comfortable with and an attorney that you can trust.
You need an attorney that can stand by you as you understand what to do after an incident has occurred. If you have an attorney such as this, you will always be protected and can sleep in peace knowing that you have people that will help you when you need it.
If you have already been involved in an automobile accident, then you should contact an attorney now. Especially if you are reading the above step by step guide and are realizing that you may have put your claim in jeopardy by skipping a few of the steps laid out above.
At the end of the day, you should be prepared with the above-detailed knowledge. This will help you in case you are ever in an accident. When an incident occurs, it is normal for your brain to feel as if it freezes up, and you struggle to think clearly. After you have read this guide, you should be able to identify the steps that you need to take clearly should you ever be involved in an incident.