Car accidents happen in the blink of an eye, and sometimes have the power to change your life forever. When an accident occurred through no fault of yours, it is important to make certain you don’t become a victim a second time, which is what happens whenever an injured party is unable to secure adequate compensation from the responsible party’s insurance company. Diligently adhering to the following three steps when you are involved in an accident will dramatically increase your chances of surviving the accident’s aftermath.
Stop, Provide Aid and Call for Help
Always stop your car when in an accident. If possible, check to see if anyone in the other vehicle is hurt. Offer assistance a, but don’t move a person unless you are qualified to do so. If anyone is hurt, call an ambulance first and then the police. The law requires you to notify an appropriate authority such as the sheriff’s department, highway patrol, or local police department. Clear damaged cars from the roadway when possible to prevent further collisions. You may be injured and may be traumatized, which is why it is important to know ahead of time to make no statements as to responsibility for the accident until first speaking with an experienced car accident lawyer.
Exchange Information and Record the Scene
Always get the other driver’s information in writing. You’ll need their name, address, telephone number and insurance information. Also get the number of their vehicle’s license plate. Secure the names and telephone numbers of any witnesses present as soon as possible, in case you need them in the future. Witnesses tend to disappear from an accident scene quickly, especially if there is no clear reason for them to remain. More information about what to do in the event of a car accident as well as information on the causes of car accidents is available here. Use the camera on your phone to record photographs of the scene, the cars, marks on the road, and anything else that seems potentially relevant.
Document and Preserve All Evidence
Once you leave the scene it is important for you to document any injuries you have sustained with photographs and by seeing a doctor, even if you don’t feel you are injured or that your injuries are serious. Many times the physical effects of an automobile accident do not surface immediately, but later complaints may be traced directly to the accident. For this reason, it is important to be seen by a doctor who may be better able than you to establish your physical condition. The sooner you see a doctor following an accident, the better. Also, make sure the physician you see is one experienced in treating car accident victims.
Finally, it never hurts to consider whether you should consult an attorney. Many car accidents are little more than inconvenient annoyances, minor fender benders. However, others devastate lives, leaving behind permanent scars and disabilities as well as hundreds of thousands of dollars of medical bills. Personal injury consultations are generally free of charge. When you were injured in a car accident it cannot hurt to consult with a car accident attorney.