The US alone has over 6 million car accidents per year, a very scary statistic. Most of them are exclusively property damage accidents, but a third of them involve personal injury to the driver or passengers. 2 out of 10 of these accidents involve fatal repercussions that lead to death. Most people see accidents and think it won’t happen to them until it does, making it very important to be prepared and have several scenarios laid out just in case. Whether you’re in a city full of traffic or a moot town, there is still a possibility that you could be involved in a car accident, even if you are not the driver. You’ll want to arrange for the steps that you should take after an accident, as you won’t be able to come up with better plans after the mayhem of one.
Call for Help
Once you find yourself in a car crash, check yourself first. If you are uninjured and able to move, check to see if there are any injured people with you in the car, in the other car or even on the road. Then proceed to call for help by calling the police, even if the situation isn’t that bad. Calling the police is a very important step, as a lot of insurance companies may reject or reduce compensation because the injured party hadn’t called for help or officially document the accident.
While there are some injuries that are quite obviously painful such as bleeding and broken bones, some may be initially hidden like brain damage and internal bleeding. Even minor accidents with speeds that are as low as 5 mph can cause whiplash. If you’re not familiar with whiplash, you can read more here about its symptoms and treatment. It’s not uncommon for your injuries to worsen and for some to appear all of a sudden. If the paramedics want you to go to the hospital, it’s advisable to do so. You should seek medical attention on your own by going to a hospital if no paramedics were available.
It’s very important that you document as much of the accident as possible after the event. Once the police arrive at the scene, be sure to tell them a very detailed description of what happened. Never guess or speculate about any particular details if you are not sure. If the police ask you whether you are injured or not, it’s better to say that you don’t know for sure as some injuries can be internal and felt a few hours later.
Evidence for a Claim
It’s quite important to exchange names and insurance numbers right after a crash if you’re able to. It’s also preferable to take down the driver’s email address, address, and cell phone number. Try to write down all the details that you’re able to see for yourself like the state of the driver, passengers, and whether there are any witnesses. Fortunately, pictures and videos are considered important evidence so if you can record and take pictures, do so as much as you can. Any damages to the car, skid marks, public property, and even trees should be documented by photos.
Contacting the Insurance Company
It’s very important that you notify your insurance company that you’ve just been in an accident, even if you weren’t the one at fault as their notification is a contractual agreement, nevertheless. Your insurance company is required to defend you in case a party decides to sue you for damages. Depending on your insurance company and your coverage, the company may provide support for your bills and car repairs. This will make your case anti-fraudulent if any other party decides to make a false claim.
The Other Party’s Insurance Company
After you contact your insurance company and give them the details that may be needed in an investigation, it’s recommended that you reach out to the other driver’s insurance company. You don’t have to rush it as every state has a different time limit for filing a claim, but the sooner the better. Since most people would prefer not to get themselves in the middle of a paperwork battle between insurance companies, it’s recommended to get yourself a personal injury attorney that can guide you and take care of the paperwork.
A car accident is something that no one will ever get used to or avoid. You may even struggle for a while to get through the important steps as your body could be full of adrenaline, making you unable to concentrate. You need to take injuries at more than face-value to ensure that you’re healthy and stay so. Whether it was you or the other party who is at fault, keep the police and insurance companies in the loop.