No one wants to be involved in a car accident, but millions of Americans will experience some form of vehicular accident every year. Car accidents are often not predictable and can feel scary and confusing at the moment. It is impossible to be prepared for a car accident, but you should know the best course of action following an accident. Having a plan is the best way to ensure you are safe. It will also minimize issues that will occur as a result of the accident. If you ever catch yourself in a car accident, it will be ideal to remember these steps:
Ensure That You Are Not Harmed
Before proceeding with anything, make sure that you are not hurt. Your health should be prioritized. If you think you have received a major injury, contact 911 as soon as possible. If you are unable to move, try to alert the attention of someone nearby or other people who were involved in the accident. It is difficult to be prepared for these moments, but nothing should be above your well-being. Get medical help at the scene if you are critically injured. If you have not obtained any critical injuries, you can continue to the next step.
Contact a Lawyer
If your injuries are minor and you do not require immediate medical attention, you will want to contact a lawyer. The Barnes Firm, a law firm specializing in connecting you with a car accident lawyer in NYC, suggests contacting an attorney if you are ever involved in an accident. Personal injury lawyers and accident lawyers specialize in the legal process following a car accident. Obtaining a lawyer is for your personal safety against others involved in the accident and questionable insurance practices. An accident lawyer’s responsibility is to help you build a case that will stand for the optimal insurance claim. Accident attorneys work to ensure that you are properly compensated for any medical, physical, and financial issues you may have incurred from the accident. There is no downside to hiring a personal injury lawyer, as they are paid after you have received your claim. All legal situations will be spearheaded by your lawyer, and they can also make a case to court if you feel that you were inappropriately compensated for your situation.
Do Not Leave the Scene
Accidents can be nerve-wracking, and as a human, your first instinct may be to flee. This can be true for both those that have caused the accident and those that have been hurt by other drivers. Panic, anxiety, and fear are all common emotions, but the most important thing to do is remain calm. If you leave the scene, you may face legal actions against you even if you were not the one to cause the accident. The best way to proceed is to move your car out of oncoming traffic (if you can) and wait for the police to arrive. Be sure to remind others involved to do so as well to minimize traffic, confusion, and other accidents.
Contact Law Enforcement
Whether you or anyone else got injured or not, you want to contact the police. The police should be contacted as soon as possible. They can also send medical help to you. There must be a police report when an insurance claim is filed; therefore, the police have to be called whenever there is a car accident, regardless of the damages that occurred in the accident.
Record Important Details and Take Photos
While the police are coming, it would be beneficial for you and your lawyer if you wrote down everything that happened prior to the accident. Memories can get hazy with time, so it would be ideal for recording the information with as much accuracy and as close to the incident as possible. Be sure to record important details such as the weather, how the incident occurred, and what you saw. If you observed improper driving behavior from other drivers, you could also write this down.
A vital part of any claim is photos. You will want to take photos of all injuries and vehicles. This will serve as evidence for your legal claim and insurance claim. If other drivers try to leave, try to grab their license plate in a photo. Your photos should be inclusive of every aspect of the scene.
Exchange Contact Information
Contact information between you and those involved is critical for a case. Information you should photograph and seek out includes phone numbers, car registration, car licenses, and car insurance. These are all important information for you, the police, and your lawyer. The police will also record this information.
File Your Report…and Wait
You can provide all of your information to your lawyer, and they will proceed with the necessary procedures. Now you can wait and focus on your recovery until the case is finished.