Across the globe, nearly 1.2 million people have died annually in car accidents. Within the U.S. 3 million people sustain injuries driving on roadways. Some of those accidents are due to distracted drivers. In 2015, distracted driving has claimed 3,477 lives. These facts prove that you need to know what to do directly after a car accident.
After you have been involved in an auto accident it can be distressing and upsetting. There are certain actions you can take to protect yourself immediately. Before you can reach automobile accident attorneys, remember to protect your interests with the following top ten tips.
1. Stop! Your First Actions Are Imperative
The first thing you need to do after being involved in a car accident is STOP. Do not drive away from an active accident scene no matter how minor it may be. Take a moment to ensure you are out of harms way and focus on what needs to happen next.
2. Keep the Scene Protected
A car accident attorney will tell you to try to keep the scene of the accident protected so other accidents are not caused. Set up flares and keep your flashers enabled. Use a flashlight if it is dark and you don’t have headlights. Stay inside your vehicle if you can, or on the side of the road.
3. Notify the Police Via 911
Whether there are any serious injuries or not, automobile accident attorneys advise to always call 911. In order to be able to file an insurance claim, you need a police report. All autos involved in the accident need to remain in the area, but out of traffic.
4. Stay Accurate
Sometimes accidents can cause a state of shock and make it difficult to think or recall what happened. To the best of your ability try to provide investigating officers with an accurate record. Don’t guess, speculate or misstate any facts. Automobile accident attorneys can only help you if you are stating the truth.
5. Take Snaps of the Scene
Be sure to snap pictures of the scene of the accident to show visible damage. If you or the other party has injuries, be sure to take photos of them too. Just make sure you are not interfering with any of the police investigation. Accident attorneys need as many photos of the accident you can provide.
6. Exchange Necessary Information
Most of the time, an investigating officer will collect necessary information. If by chance the police have not responded to the accident, you will need to get the names, telephone numbers and addresses of the other party involved in the accident. If you see any witnesses, ask them for their information too. This kind of information is exactly what car accident attorneys need.
7. Make Sure to Report the Accident
After speaking with the police, you need to make your auto insurance company your next priority. Call them as soon as possible and notify them of the accident. Ask about medical benefits that may already be part of your auto insurance coverage.
8. Get Medical Attention
A lot can happen to a person physically during an accident that they don’t feel due to an adrenaline rush. In fact, a lot of injuries are not apparent for two to three days later. Get medical attention at a local emergency room or see your physician, even for accidents that are minor impact.
9. Keep Collected Information in a File
Any accident-related information and documents should all be kept in a file. This type of information can include claim numbers, claim’s adjuster names, contacts, phone numbers and receipts for expenses such as a rental care. Any documents pertaining to the accident should be kept.
10. Hire Automobile Accident Attorneys
An important part of protecting your rights is hiring a trial attorney. Consult with an attorney that can make sure valuable evidence isn’t destroyed. Get expert legal advice before you provide any statements to insurance companies, as well.