Important Steps to Take in the Wake of a Car Accident
Few things are more frightening than being involved in an auto accident. Whether you bear some level of responsibility or are completely free of blame, the immediate aftermath of a car accident can be a truly scary time. Even if you’ve never been involved in one, a single bad decision – be it from you or another motorist – can change that in a matter of seconds. As such, it’s imperative that you educate yourself on what to do in the wake of an auto accident.
Don’t Leave the Scene of the Accident
Leaving the scene of an accident can land you in quite a bit of trouble. Even if the accident was in no way your fault, fleeing the scene is guaranteed to make you look guilty. So, if you’re able to, simply park in the nearest safe location and call the police. Additionally, if you, any of your passengers or anyone else at the scene have incurred injuries, you should also call for an ambulance.
You should also make a point of photographing any injuries that you or your passengers have sustained. The earlier you photograph these injuries, the more evidence you’ll ultimately have to make your case. However, if any of your passengers are seriously injured, you shouldn’t attempt to move them yourself, as this task is best left to professionals. By extension, you should also photograph any damage done to your vehicle. If the party who caused the accident attempts to dispute your version of events, photographic evidence can provide you with a great deal of help.
Exchange Information with the Other Party
Before leaving the scene, exchange contact and insurance information with the other party. For one thing, you can’t trust this person to file a report with their insurer – or to be entirely truthful if they do. Should the party in question prove combative or belligerent, don’t engage them. Instead, get their license plate number and inform the police that they aren’t being cooperative. By the same token, make a point of remaining calm and being civil in your interactions with the other driver, even if they were responsible for the accident.
Get Medical Attention
There are a lot of things that play a role when you are trying to make the right decisions in the wake of your car accident. This is something you have to get right as much as possible, and it is important to make sure your physical well-being is a priority in the wake of any car accident. So, one of the key things you need to make sure you do in the wake of a car accident is to ensure you get medical attention. Now, this could simply be getting a check-up to make sure you don’t have shingles or whiplash. Or it could be something like getting open thoracic surgery, if needed. It’s important to come up with some of the best ways of looking after your health and well-being following a car accident, and this is something that you can do by making sure you get medical attention as soon as you can after the accident.
File an Accident Report
It’s in your best interest to file an accident report with your insurance company as soon as possible. Filing a report when the events of the accident are fresh in your mind can help ensure that pertinent details aren’t glossed over or forgotten. Furthermore, the sooner you file your report, the sooner you can collect what you’re owed.
If you don’t have auto insurance, there’s no time like the present to rectify this. Even if your accident was indisputably someone else’s fault, you’re liable to have a difficult time collecting compensation without a dependable insurer. Sure, you can sue for damages, but there’s no guarantee the responsible party will even show up to court. On top of all this, it’s illegal to operate a vehicle without auto insurance in most states. So, even if an accident isn’t your fault, you’re still liable to find yourself in hot water depending on where the mishap occurred.
Speak to a Lawyer
Depending on the circumstances of the accident, you may be able to sue the responsible party or their insurer. For example, there’s a chance that the insurer will opt to deny responsibility for any medical bills or vehicle repair costs incurred as a result of the accident. So, if you feel that you’re entitled to additional compensation, don’t hesitate to reach out to an attorney. North Star State residents in the market for a Minneapolis car accident lawyer are likely to find a wide assortment of attractive options.
Even a relatively minor auto accident can shake you to your core. Given how dangerous cars can be when operated improperly, it’s only natural for people to feel petrified in the wake of accidents. The steps you take in the aftermath of an auto accident can effectively set the stage for what’s to come. Whereas remaining calm and collected stands to make things a lot easier, flying off the handle will only make a bad situation worse. So, should you ever find yourself in a car accident, take care to heed the pointers discussed above.