Help! I've Been Involved in a Car Accident; What Do I Do Next?
Apr 03, 2019 19:16
Car accidents happen all over the country every single day. In many cases, most of the damage is to property and not to people. There are also serious accidents that result in personal injuries and in some cases, the injuries result in death. Whether you are involved in a car accident or you witness a car accident, you should do a few things.
Don’t leave the scene
If you are still mobile, the first thing you should do is to remain on the scene and call 9-1-1. Stay so you can speak to the police. Leaving the scene of an accident is also called a “hit and run” and is illegal.
After calling 9-1-1, the next step is to be sure the accident scene is safe. Turn on flashers and if you have flares, you might want to use those to encourage drivers to circumvent any debris that could be in the road. If you are unsure about the safety of the area, then remain in your car until first responders arrive.
Tell your story
Everything else on the list is dependent on the safety of the scene. If you can check on the other people who were involved in the accident. Then, return to safety and record what happened. If you are able to write down what, do it. Some people use their phones to record what happened. This way, you can share an accurate record of the accident to the police. If you need to file a report with your insurance company or you need to call an attorney, a police report will be a necessity.
If you do have access to your phone, it is helpful to take pictures of the accident and the surrounding area. Since many accidents result in lawsuits, having a clear record of the event can help your case. Along with pictures of the accident, record the name of the officer who arrived on the scene so you know who to contact if you need the officer’s report for a lawsuit.
See a health care provider
Because adrenaline can rise after a car accident, you might not realize that you are hurt. Once you are able to slow down and take stock in what happened, you might notice any injuries. Since car accidents can cause concussions and other internal injuries, it is wise to see a health care provider. Like everything else that happens involving the accident, get a record of your doctor’s visit. You might need a record of your physical injuries for your insurance company or for your attorney.
Contact your insurance agent
Even if you cannot find any obvious damage to your vehicle, it is best to contact your insurance company as soon as possible. Depending on the way that insurance is managed in your state, your insurance company might have some responsibility in paying for damage or health care bills. If you are unsure what liabilities you and your insurance company will have, then you should simply ask your insurance agent.
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