Life is full of surprises, good and bad. One of the bad ones which happen to plenty of people daily is a car accident. It’s unexpected and comes with plenty of stress, not to mention the physical harm that can occur. On average, more than 100 Americans are killed in car accidents each day. That’s a much bigger number than most people realise. It’s a very real danger which can happen at any time. Regardless of how good and safe a driver you are, there is no accounting for other drivers on the road and even careless pedestrians can bring about an accident, as can freak occurrences and sudden changes in weather. If it does happen to you, follow this 5 step list.
Seek Medical Attention
This is the first point on the list because of the health and welfare of all people involved in the priority. If you or anybody else is clearly hurt, call an ambulance for some immediate medical care. If the damage isn’t obvious or is quite minor, you can take yourself for an examination later and move this down towards the end of our list. Always seek medical care though, even if you feel fine because some injuries aren’t felt right away. Having medical documentation of the care you needed is a good idea if a court case arises too.
Contact the Police
It’s a legal requirement to report all accidents to the police. This usually includes single car accidents as well, though there are a few states which have more relaxed requirements depending on the damage levels. Police presence also does a great job of relaxing people and keeping everything calm. Additionally, they can be helpful in dealing with matters like getting witness statements and contact details from all parties involved.
Contact and insurance details need to be exchanged by those involved in the accident. This is important so you can get the insurance companies to sort out any payments and compensation afterwards. You should also take contact details for any witnesses to the accident.
Document any Evidence
This isn’t the time to canvass the area and get a bunch of witness statements, but you should have some basic notes on who can be a witness and what they saw. Likewise, take pictures and video of any damage to the vehicles or people involved in the accident (providing the circumstances allow it). Fresh evidence is important, and you can’t always rely on somebody else to collect it.
Get Legal Advice
After the immediate problems are dealt with you should get legal advice immediately. I have used Samer Habbas & Associates in the past, though you’re welcome to use a firm of your choosing, especially if there’s a pre-existing relationship. Legal professionals are in the best position to advise you on what kind of case you have and whether you are entitled to compensation. If there is a case, they can help my lightening your load and taking over the process of evidence gathering and building a case.