If you have been recently involved in a car accident, chances are you are under a lot of stress right now. Car accidents are one of the most emotionally and financially taxing events one can go through. Not only does it involve the damage or loss of hard-earned property, but it can also cause physical and mental anguish to the persons involved in the mishap.
According to the data gathered by the U.S. Department of Transportation’s National Highway Traffic Safety Administration there were 37,133 people killed in motor vehicle traffic crashes on United States roads during the year 2017 alone. This just goes to show that car accidents are as frequent as they are gravely dangerous. Knowing the steps to take following a vehicular accident can make a lot of difference.
Listed below are some of the things to do and keep in mind after a car accident.
Seek Immediate Medical Attention
The first thing you need to do is to examine yourself for injuries. If you have other passengers with you, check on them as well.
If you are conscious and able to move, immediately call and ask for medical assistance. Some complications resulting from the injuries sustained in the accident can be prevented by immediate medical treatment.
Also, having a medical check-up is vital for the early detection of hidden trauma and possibly life-threatening injuries.
Call Up The Authorities
After the initial examination of yourself and of the other passengers in your car, the next thing you need to do is to notify the proper authorities of the accident. Dial 911 and ask for police assistance.
Do not leave the accident scene and patiently wait for the police to arrive so that you can give a police statement.
Get or Take Note of Vital Information
While waiting for the arrival of the medical team and the police, try asking for the name and contact information of the other driver and his insurance company (if applicable). This information will be important for further negotiations and/or settlement talks.
Also, look around and search for any witnesses to the accident. Ask them what they saw and if they would possibly agree to be a witness for you should the need for legal proceedings arise later on.
Consult A Car Accident Lawyer Before Dealing With The Insurance Company
Contrary to common practice, you should first consult a lawyer before trying to negotiate or settle with your insurance company.
This is because insurance companies do not have your best interests in mind. They would want your claim to be settled for as low an amount as possible so that they can maximize their business profit. Be cautious of any early settlement offer by insurance companies because more often than not, they are not equitably and justly valued.
Consider hiring an experienced and competent car accident lawyer like Fleming Attorneys. Make sure that the lawyer you hire has a strong background in car accident cases so that they have already familiarized themselves with the subject at hand. They should be able to skillfully handle the complex legal questions that may arise from your case.
Document All Related Expenses
Keep your receipts and expense records. These will come in handy as evidence and proof of the actual financial damages you have suffered or are currently suffering because of the accident. Additionally, the court may also grant you other compensatory damages as it deems proper in your case.