You can be the best driver on the road, but with so many variables in the surrounding world and other less careful drivers on the road, accidents can and will happen. Should you be unfortunate enough to get into a road traffic accident, no matter how serious, there are several things that you should know. If you’re unaware of the things that need to happen in the event of a traffic accident, you could miss out on compensation or, worse, find yourself liable. The following information will help you navigate the aftermath should you find yourself involved in such an incident.
Call Emergency Services And Stay Put
In a vehicle accident involving damage to any of the involved vehicles or people, you must stay at the scene until police arrive. The best practice is to stay put regardless, as some injuries aren’t immediately apparent, so waiting for police and paramedics to arrive protects all parties. As hit and run are illegal, assuming there are no injuries and leaving the scene opens the at-fault driver to avoid legal trouble easily.
It’s only sometimes immediately evident or easily concluded who is at fault for a car accident, making the preservation of evidence vital to ensuring the correct conclusion is drawn. Evidence can’t be disturbed or tampered with, ensuring any police investigations undertaken to come to the right conclusions. In the instance where financial claims are likely, or further police involvement, staying at the scene provides additional security.
Move Out Of Harms Way
It’s obvious that an accident on a busy road means, where possible, moving people out of the way so that other vehicles can’t hit them. It’s also crucial on quiet roads, as other drivers may need to be made aware of the accident ahead. If you’re unsure about someone else’s injuries, don’t move them; leave it for the emergency services. Setting out safety equipment from your car’s emergency kit to warn oncoming traffic is the best way to ensure their safety.
Where both parties can move and communicate freely, use the time waiting for the emergency services to arrive to swap details. Taking the other party’s insurance and license details allows Lamber Goodnow Car Accident Lawyers in Phoenix to begin working on your case immediately.
There are times when other drivers are reluctant to share their insurance information, citing various reasons, from driving history to no apparent damage. If they dig their heels and refuse to share their details, take note of the car’s license plate number, make and model, plus any other distinguishing feature. This information will help investigators find the driver’s information later.
Preservation Of Evidence
Staying at the scene is the first step to keeping evidence intact. Additionally, you can take photos and videos of the scene, capturing any details that may help investigators and insurance companies. Information such as skid marks, broken railings, and the position of all involved vehicles are all beneficial to capture. If you have any misgivings about the intoxication of the other driver, taking a video of their current state can help.
Mind Your Words
Keeping a level head when dealing with the other parties is vital for many reasons. Understandably, emotions run high in the aftermath of an accident, but becoming argumentative or aggressive can escalate the situation. Step away and take a minute to calm down if necessary to diffuse potentially dangerous situations.
Avoid admitting fault is important to remember, as you leave yourself open to the other driver benefitting. It’s only sometimes immediately apparent who the responsibility lies with for causing an accident; sometimes, it’s both parties or unavoidable outside circumstances. Leaving it for law enforcement to determine who is responsible is best for all involved.
Get Medical Attention
Some medical conditions aren’t immediately obvious, so even if you think you’re alright, it’s best to get checked over as soon as possible. Any injuries incurred from a motor vehicle accident may entitle you to a financial settlement. However, if you wait too long for a diagnosis, it’s harder to prove the cause, meaning you may miss out.
More importantly, though, some life-threatening injuries, such as internal bleeding, aren’t immediately apparent. If you leave the scene of the accident without getting checked over by a medical professional, there’s a greater chance of suffering potentially catastrophic complications in the hours after. At least by getting seen, you can access advice on what to look out for and what action to take if your health declines.
Inform Your Insurance Company
In the days after the accident, you must inform your insurance company of the accident, regardless of who’s at fault. Cooperating with their requests for information will make the claims process run smoothly and efficiently. Giving an honest account of the events is vital, especially as the physical evidence disproves any misinformation.
If the other driver is deemed at fault for the crash, their insurance will cover the cost of repairing your car. Should the other insurance company try not to cover the total cost of repairs, you can file a claim through your insurance. They will then work to recover the costs on your behalf.
Call A Lawyer
If an auto crash has left you injured, you may be entitled to financial compensation to cover medical expenses and loss of earnings. A personal injury lawyer will help you negotiate a settlement from the at-fault party’s insurer or represent you in court if necessary.
Should you be the at-fault driver of a serious accident, enlisting a lawyer will ensure any legal proceedings brought against you are dealt with fairly and accurately.
Involvement in a vehicle accident of any type is traumatizing, and those involved aren’t always thinking clearly due to shock. But by remembering the above guidance in the aftermath, you keep yourself and others safe, follow legal requirements, and make it easier for police and insurers to understand what happened. You’re also best placed to receive any compensation due to injury and lost earnings.