Nobody is ever prepared to be in a car accident. However, there are a few things you should know ahead of time so that when the time comes to make a car insurance claim against an at-fault driver, you’re ready. There are several things you should know here.
What should you do immediately after a car accident?
If possible, the first thing you should do after an accident is to pull your car over to a public place that’s safe and well-lit. This is especially true if you’re hit from behind and think you’re the intended victim of a staged accident. If your car can’t be moved, make sure that you and your passengers are in a safe location, but don’t ever leave the scene of a car accident.
If your car is a road hazard, move it out of the way if possible.
Remain calm and use your emergency flashers so that oncoming cars are aware that you’re there. Even if you feel disoriented, you still need to have an after-accident plan so that you can get through the incident. Doing so is a vital part of preserving your rights in a potential claim.
Determine whether you need to call the police or an ambulance.
Once you ensure the safety of yourself, your passengers, and your vehicle, make sure that nobody has sustained any injuries. If you have even the slightest injury, you need to call an ambulance. It’s important to call 911 to get medical help for yourself and your passengers right away, especially if your passengers who are injured are children, elderly people, or someone who’s already disabled. Otherwise, you’ll need to prepare yourself for a long wait for the
Be prepared for possible long waits for the police to respond because law enforcement handles calls that they consider more urgent first. Don’t panic if the police don’t show up or they don’t make it to the scene before someone has to leave. You can always go to the nearest police station and file a report. This should be done as soon as possible following the car accident, but you’ll typically have up to 72 hours to make a report. Make sure you file a police report just in case you’re sued by the other driver.
Gather the information you need from the other driver.
If you feel safe and both parties are calm, you can exchange information without help from the police. However, if there’s any sign of road rage, you’ll want to use extra caution. It’s also important that you secure and conceal your valuables before exiting your vehicle, just in case. As you discuss the car accident with the other party, make sure that you stick to the facts. You don’t want to discuss who’s at fault or how much insurance you have. You also don’t want to express any anger or blame. It’s fine to engage in some small talk, however.
Another important thing that you don’t want to discuss is any potential injuries. You can’t know the full extent of damage to your car or your body right after you’ve been in an automobile accident. So, if someone asks you if you or your passengers are okay, you’ll want to tell them that you need to talk to your doctor before you can answer that question. Injuries from an automobile accident can take hours or days to manifest.
Are you still uncertain as to how to proceed after you’ve been in a car accident? Well, that’s what we’re here for at the Blenner Legal Group in Palm Harbor, FL, so give us a call right away.