You’re driving on the interstate, when suddenly a collision brings your day to a screeching halt. What do you do when you’re involved in an auto accident? There are many important steps to take in order to keep everyone as safe as possible and preserve your legal rights.
First, check to see if you or anyone else is injured. The shock of an impact may keep you from even realizing that you are hurt. If there are any serious injuries, call an ambulance immediately. Even if you are not sure how serious an injury is, emergency services can do a thorough examination and assess the damage. If someone has injured their head, neck, or spine, such as a person being thrown from the vehicle, do not move them. Jostling a person with a spinal cord injury can increase the damage and may cause further nerve trauma.
If the accident is minor, move your vehicle to the side of the road. Make sure to use your hazard lights and any available warning items to make your location known to other drivers. If you have cones or flares, these can be used to keep you safe while you wait for authorities to arrive.
Call the police, even if the accident is minor. They can assess the situation, block off traffic if necessary, and determine who was at fault. To expedite the filing of an insurance claim, you will need an accident report to prove fault.
If you or someone in your vehicle is physically able to, take as many pictures as you can. These will be valuable evidence if you need to file an insurance claim or a civil suit.
Items to take pictures of after an accident:
- Injuries to yourself and any passengers
- Damages to all cars involved
- Road conditions
- Weather conditions
- Any relevant road items, such as traffic lights, signs, guardrails, etc.
- Position of cars
As you soon as you are able to, make notes about the circumstances of the accident. While the incident is fresh in your mind, record as much as you can, such as exactly what happened, how fast you were going, how many people were involved, and other details. Notify your insurance agency of the accident as soon as possible, and be sure to make a note of your claim number.
If you are involved in an accident, even if it’s a minor fender-bender, it is important to gather information and act carefully. Taking these steps will make it much easier to proceed with claims after your accident and seek out the compensation that you are owed. In many cases, the help of an attorney can be invaluable after a car accident, especially if damages are severe. To ensure that an offered settlement truly covers all of the costs of the wreck, or to proceed with seeking compensation, the attorneys of Blizzard Law PLLC can help you after your accident.