Road collisions are becoming the leading cause of death among drivers and to their passengers as well. Around 1.25 million people die each year due to road collisions. Over 20 million suffer from non-fatal injuries resulting into disabilities that can cause financial losses to the victim and their family.
Drivers always have the chance to become one of these statistics. Getting into this nightmare can be traumatic and depressing at the same time- which is why we should know what to do after a car accident. Here are the ten things you should never forget to take:
First thing to do is pull over. In any type of accident, resorting into hit and run doesn’t help. Try not to drive to side of the road; it will create an inaccurate record or the incident. Hence, leaving the scene can cause you some trouble like criminal penalties.
Be calm and check on your passengers. Everyone’s safety should be the first priority. Remember, do not go out of the car unless an injury requires you to do so. If the situation allows you, step out of the vehicle and observe. Be ready to seek for medical assistance if necessary. Make sure there is someone to wave away incoming vehicles to avoid an additional car collisions.
3. Call the authorities and follow their instruction
Regardless of what type of accident it is, you must call a police officer to make a record of the accident. A police report is a must to file a claim for the insurance regarding with your damaged vehicle. Police officer’s job is to assess the situation. They are trained to handle what might happen after a car accident and should be able to assist you with legal advice. Always be calm and composed so you can give them accurate information about the incident.
4. Take pictures
Accuracy of any record is vital for a legal or insurance claims. Therefore, you have to back up your claim by taking as many pictures as you can. Take pictures from multiple angles and detailed shots of any car damages. The photos taken will make your statement stronger and show the real situation. Even so, you should not cut in the police investigation.
5. Exchange accurate information
Exchanging accurate information is crucial after an incident. But be careful not to exploit your personal information unless the police officers ask you to hand it to them. Police officers are the only ones who were authorized to keep personal information such as name, phone numbers, address, plate numbers and the insurance companies’ information of both parties involved that will be needed in a further investigation.
6. Be civil and make an agreement
The officers will not require the individuals to admit who was at fault, so you should not condemn who’s guilty of the accident. Showing compassion to other driver will more likely help. Getting into a car accident is a stressful situation so people tend to panic, so do not pass the blame or accept any. If a settlement is made, both parties will agree on whose responsible and how much the damage will cost. But this kind of agreement is applicable for minor damages only. An insurance claim must be made if the car is totally wrecked.
7. Make a police report
You have to assure that the police report will be filed within 24 hours. As mentioned above, a police report is essential for insurance claims. You should keep an authentic copy of the report and remember not to sign anything that is illegal or not official.
8. Get in touch with your insurance provider
Notify your insurance provider as soon as possible and discuss the incident to be informed about the damage valuation. The sooner you keep in touch with them the more accurate your given information is. Make sure to prepare all the documents needed such as police reports to be qualified for the benefits.
9. Secure your rights
Consulting a lawyer after an accident is the most important thing do. Taking an experienced attorney’s legal advice will help you deal with all the damages including the injuries. The attorney will protect your rights, making sure you receive the full compensation you deserve for your car and medical treatment you need.
10. Settle your car repairs and track your own health
Before looking for body shop for your car, you should seek for your insurance provider’s advice. They may help you to find a good shop and make sure you get the most out of your insurance claim. After getting a medical treatment you should track your own body condition. There are injuries that are not immediately visible after the accident. Remember to keep a record of how the injuries affects your daily routine and secure medical reports for your expenses claim.
The Law Offices of Michael L. Yeung specializes in personal injury, business, and criminal law. His goal is to help victims and plaintiffs recover the money that they deserve. Michael L. Yeung went to UC Berkeley for his undergraduate degree. He then obtained his law degree from Loyola Law School. Michael has been a licensed attorney since 2001 and has worked on numerous types of cases – including bankruptcy, workers compensation, small and large accidents, real estate transactions, business-related matters, and criminal cases. For fast help contact the law office at 626-500-0338, 833-243-8724, we’re always ready to help you and we now have two offices in Rancho Dominguez and Alhambra to serve you.