The average person spends so much time in their car that it might as well be a second home. You don’t have to live in a traffic-heavy city like Los Angeles to easily wrack up the hours that you spend behind the wheel.
We spend so much of our lives behind the wheel that we actually forget just how risky it can be to be out on the open road. Accidents occur at a rate far more frequent than we like to recognize.
If you’ve been in an auto accident yourself, the damage and disruption to your life can be quite serious. It is essential that you take the proper steps following an accident to safeguard your future and ensure financial and personal stability.
What should you make sure you do following an accident? Read on and we’ll walk you through what you need to know.
1. Safety First
A car accident can be a surprising and shocking event. It is not unlikely that you will literally go into a state of shock following the incident. This can make it hard to think straight and make proper decisions.
However, the decisions you make immediately following the accident can be the difference between safety and danger.
Once you get your bearings following an accident, check on the status of yourself and others in your vehicle. Has anyone been hurt? If the answer is yes, you’ll want to call emergency services immediately.
Make sure to check in on yourself and others thoroughly. Adrenaline is often pumping through the body after an accident, igniting your fight or flight instincts. This adrenaline can very literally mask pain, making it difficult to determine if you’ve actually been injured or not.
If no one in your vehicle has been seriously hurt, you can turn your attention to moving the vehicle. If you are positioned in the roadway, it is important to move your vehicle so that you are not in danger of further collisions.
Moving your vehicle off to the side of the road and out of harm’s way should be your next big priority. Once you and your vehicle are out of harm’s way, check on the other driver.
Are they hurt at all? If so, call emergency services and have someone sent over to help them right away.
2. Collect Evidence
Once you’ve determined that no one has been seriously injured, you can start the process of looking into the accident and the resulting damage. If you’re lucky, the damage that’s occurred will be minimum. Perhaps a little fender bender.
Far too often, the damage can be quite severe. If the other driver caused the accident, they will be liable for paying this damage and all medical bills you might incur from injuries related to the accident.
The opposing driver’s insurance company should pay for these various costs. However, in order to get the insurance company to pay you properly, you’ll need to display a good amount of evidence to make your case.
There’s no better time to collect this evidence than right after the accident itself has occurred. Luckily, we all keep a camera in our pockets these days.
You can pull out your phone and take photos and videos of the scene of the accident, making note of the position of the vehicles. Make sure to get detailed shots of damage to your vehicle, your injuries, and anything that might be of note.
Videos of everything you see can be helpful. You can always freeze-frame these and pull out photos later.
Other Forms of Evidence
Photos and videos are some of the most helpful forms of evidence you can get from the scene of an accident. However, there are other opportunities to collect evidence that you should not overlook.
If there were any other witnesses to the accident, their testimony can be a huge help. Make sure to get their contact information. If you can, have them go ahead and record an initial testimony on your phone while their memory is fresh.
The police will be called to the scene and you will be interviewed in order to make a police report. The police report will attempt to establish who was at fault for the accident.
This report will be an important piece of evidence later as well.
3. See a Doctor and Lawyer
Once you leave the scene of the accident, you’ll want to go straight to see two professionals: an auto accident lawyer and a medical physician.
The doctor will be important for more than one reason. For one, you’ll want to ensure you didn’t actually sustain any injuries following the accident. If you did, you’ll want to get proper care for them.
The doctor’s report will also be an essential piece of evidence in your case. It will provide proof of your injuries.
Fighting against an insurance company for proper compensation can be challenging. This is why your other stop will be to see an accident attorney.
An attorney will be able to help find the proper value of your case. They will have experience with accidents just like yours and will know how much compensation you need to fight for to get back on your feet.
They can help you make a case and fight for you to get the compensation that you deserve after an accident.
What To Do In an Auto Accident Situation
Suffering through an auto accident can be traumatic, though sifting through the damage after can be just as difficult. If you want the situation to proceed as smoothly as possible, it’s important to follow the above steps.
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