Being involved in a car accident can be scary and stressful. Not only that, but you or others could be seriously injured and keeping a clear head is hard to do if this is the case. No matter what, it’s important to remain calm. Whether you’ve been involved in a minor or serious car accident, there are five steps you should take:
1. Move to a Safe Area and Check For Injuries
If possible, move your vehicle to a safe spot away from oncoming traffic where you can check the damage to your car and exchange information with the other parties involved. You can also then check for minor injuries.
If you or another person is severely injured, it is not a good idea to move yourself or others. If this is the case, you should contact emergency services by calling 9-1-1.
2. Obtain an Accident Report From the Police
Even if no one is severely injured, it is still important to call your local police station to obtain an accident report. This will come in handy if later on you need to file a damage or injury claim.
The accident report can help determine who is at fault and any other relevant information your insurance company may need.
3. Exchange Information and Document Evidence
You should exchange information with anyone involved in the crash. This includes name, contact information, insurance information, vehicle information, and driver’s license information. It’s also important to get the contact information of any witnesses or passengers involved.
Documenting evidence is also a necessary step to take. You should take pictures of the scene of the accident, vehicle damage, and any injuries. The more evidence the better, so make sure to take pictures from all angles.
4. Don’t Admit Fault
It’s important to not say anything that may be perceived as you admitting fault. In a stressful situation like a car accident, even the victim may apologize for the situation. It is best to keep statements at a minimum and avoid giving a written statement.
5. Contact a Car Accident Attorney
According to Waterbury car accident lawyer James A. Welcome, “you benefit from a trained and experienced professional handling negotiations with an insurance claims adjuster on your behalf. An attorney will know exactly how to handle an insurance company to counter tactics used to diminish your payout”.
No matter how minor the accident, speaking with an experienced attorney is always beneficial. They know exactly what to do and the proper steps to take when speaking with the insurance claims adjuster to maximize your compensation. An attorney will take care of all of the legal aspects and prepare for a trial if need be.
Dealing with the aftermath of a car accident can be difficult. Your emotions are running high and you could be seriously injured. During this time it is important to remember the five steps above, as you want to be able to recover the compensation and justice you deserve if your vehicle suffered damage and if you suffered injuries due to another’s negligence.