In the US, there are more than six million vehicle accidents per year. Fortunately, most of them simply cause property damage—damage to the car rather than the people within. However, one out of every three incidents causes the driver or passengers to sustain bodily injuries, and two out of every ten accidents result in fatal injuries.
There are steps you may take to safeguard your interests and yourself if you are involved in a vehicle accident. If you are involved in a vehicle accident, you should do the following:
STOP. Never leave the site of an accident, no matter how little.
Help Protect the Scene. By placing flares or keeping your flashers on, you can stop more accidents. A flashlight will keep you safe while you wait in your broken-down vehicle or on the side of the road if it is dark and your lights don’t work.
Call the Police. It is a good idea to notify the police even if there are no significant injuries. Even if you only want to submit a claim with your insurance provider for car damage, you might require a police report. Unless they impede traffic, the cars involved in the collision should stay still.
Take Down Incident Notes. Make sure you accurately and completely describe what happened to the investigating officer(s) when the police come. Inform the officer if you are uncertain about any details. Don’t conjecture, hypothesize, or misrepresent any of the facts. When asked whether you are hurt but are unsure, answer you are uncertain rather than no.
Take Photos. If there is obvious damage to the automobiles, you should take photographs of them if you have a camera in your car or a cell phone with one. You should also take pictures of any apparent wounds you may have. However, you must not obstruct the ongoing police inquiry in any way.
Communicate the Incident to Your Insurer. Inform your insurance provider as soon as you can. Numerous regulations call for prompt reporting and total cooperation. Find out if your insurance plan includes medical benefits. You pay more for the so-called “med pay” coverage, thus you ought to make use of it. You are obligated to submit your accident-related medical expenditures to your insurance provider if you have med pay coverage. For accident-related medical expenditures, Medpay coverage comes first. Private health insurance takes over as your primary insurer after med pay benefits are used up. All passengers injured in a car accident are eligible for Medpay payments. Making claims under your medpay coverage shouldn’t result in an increase in your insurance costs.
Share Information. Usually, the police officer who is conducting the investigation gets this information. If the police do not arrive at the scene of the accident, you should still get the name, address, and phone number of every person involved, including the drivers and passengers. Asking to examine the insurance cards for all the vehicles involved in the collision will help you learn more about insurance. If there are witnesses, you should also acquire their contact information so that you or your lawyer may get in touch with them in the future. In the event the police are called to the scene, the investigating officer will typically give each driver a police report number. Later, you may call that number to get the police report.
Seek Medical Care. Injuries brought on by auto accidents can take time to manifest. A day or two after a vehicle accident, the majority of our customers say they are in the most agony. You should seek medical assistance at your neighborhood emergency department or by visiting your family doctor unless you are positive you were not hurt.
Conserve Your Rights. Consulting with your lawyer is perhaps the most crucial action you should do following an accident. Your lawyer can defend your rights and ensure that important evidence is not lost. Insurance companies frequently need statements right after following an accident. Before making such a declaration, you must seek legal counsel. Your lawyer can provide you advice on anything from how to ensure you receive the finest medical care possible to how to make sure you are adequately reimbursed for your car. Personal injury lawyers work on a contingency fee basis, meaning there is no cost unless the lawyer is successful in getting you compensation for your injuries.