After you have been in a car accident, each step will help you cover your basics. You can also be prepared for any obstacles that come your way after the incident.
If you are in a car accident, there are seven steps you can take to ensure you don’t encounter extra stress. The accident alone is upsetting, and you always want to move on from the experience as soon as possible.
1. Do Not Leave the Scene
You must not leave the scene. If you are involved in a car accident, then you can be prosecuted for not staying put. Do not risk that.
And, if you are not at fault, you still must stay at the scene. You might be forced to pay out money or spend time in jail, even if you are innocent. Look around and make sure that anyone else involved in the wreck does not leave, either.
2. Check on Everyone Involved
Of course, you want to make sure everyone in your vehicle is okay. Make sure that everyone is cognizant and also be on the lookout for minor injuries which could go unnoticed.
You also need to check on the people not in your car. Right away you need to start getting everyone’s contact information who was involved in the accident. Ask each person if they have any injuries. Document everything by writing down information and taking photos and/or videos of the scene. And, don’t forget to get witness accounts and ask them not to leave. Get their contact information, too.
3. Call 911
Call 911 and let them know of your accident. Even if your accident is a minor one, you must do this. Make sure that you provide complete and accurate information regarding your incident.
Report to the police every piece of information you recall that happened before, during, and immediately following the impact. Let them know of your account as to how everyone is doing. And, repeat those steps when emergency personnel arrives. If someone starts changing their story after police and other responders arrive, you want to point out those contradictions.
4. Reassess Everyone Involved
This is where you will really try to keep an eye out for people changing their stories as to what happened. Some people actually do fabricate police reports, even after the initial report.
After you have called 911, you need to be even more actively monitoring everyone involved. If you were not at fault, you need to be certain the guilty party doesn’t leave. You also need to make sure witnesses and anyone else involved does not leave.
5. Fill Out the Accident Report
You will have to fill out this report with an officer on the spot. He or she will get everyone’s account of what happened. Make sure you provide all of your notes to the officer. And, do not forget to ask witnesses to tell their side of the story.
Make sure that you have a clear understanding of what you are supposed to do next. You will have very specific steps that must be taken in the days following your accident.
6. Talk to Your Insurance Company
It is very important to be in touch with your insurance company before you leave the scene. Make sure you provide contact information for everyone involved, including those who witnessed the wreck, to your insurance company.
Your insurer will have certain procedures they want you to follow. They may ask you to go to the emergency room or to your primary care provider’s office right away for a checkup. If you are asked to do this, you need to follow that direction.
7. Consider Any Legal Needs
While you always hope no legal representation is needed, you might have issues that require legal expertise. It is always best to play it safe.
Should you have to file a suit or defend yourself from one, you need to entrust the expertise of a capable lawyer. According to Riverside lawyers, it is better to find legal representation sooner rather than later after your accident. No matter what happened, you don’t want to forget that you have a limited time to file your claim. So, it is better to find someone you can trust to handle your case. Stress can be mitigated when you have the assurance of legal representation.
After you have been in a car accident, each step above will help you cover your basics. You can also be prepared for any obstacles that come your way after the incident. When it comes to moving on from a car accident, you always want to have peace of mind.