Auto accidents on American roads and highways are a common occurrence. According to Traffic Safety Facts published by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), about 11 million vehicles are involved in police-reported car crashes annually in the United States. Fortunately, most of these accidents result in property damage only. However, 1 in 3 accidents cause injuries to the occupants, and out of that figure, about 2 out of 10 car accidents lead to fatal injuries.
In the event you experience a car crash, you can use these short-term and long-term tips in order to keep yourself and people around you safe, and know how to proceed in the following days.
What You should do Immediately after the Accident
- Evaluate the Situation: Before you do anything, take a few moments to analyze your situation. Assess your own and any passenger’s medical condition and observe your surroundings to see whether there are any continuing dangers, such as oncoming traffic or fires. Always make your safety and that of the passengers the topmost priority in such a situation.
- Call for Help: Call 911 and explain the situation to the operator so that they can dispatch the nearest law enforcement unit and medical emergency team to your location.
- Document the Accident: Use your phone’s camera and take pictures or make a video of the entire accident scene. The photos or video should be taken in such a way that they depict the overall context of the accident and show the damages you sustained. This will serve as a valuable piece of evidence when make a claim for compensation on your own or on the at-fault’s insurance policy.
- Stay calm: Try to remain calm after the accident, and talk to the other driver(s) involved in the accident. If possible, exchange contact information so that it can be used when resolving the case for a personal injury claim. Moreover, make sure you don’t say anything to the other driver or to the police that may seem like an admission of guilt.
What You should do in the Following Days of the Accident
- Seek Medical Attention: Sometimes, injuries manifest after several days or weeks of the accident. It is important that you make regular medical appointments with your doctor so that they can determine whether you are in good health or exhibiting any delayed symptoms of injury.
- Avoid Talking to the Claims Adjuster: After the accident, make sure you report the accident to your insurance provider so that they can begin to process your claim as soon as possible. However, do not talk to the claims adjuster from the other driver’s insurance company without consulting a legal professional.
- Consult an Attorney: If you have sustained injuries from the accident, you can file a personal injury claim against the responsible party. To determine whether you should make a claim on your own policy or file a personal injury lawsuit against the other driver, it is best you consult a reliable and experienced personal injury lawyer to get a clear picture of your case.
Auto accidents can be traumatizing and can have devastating effects on your life. If the accident caused significant property damage, medical injuries, and pain and suffering, it is advisable to get legal counsel to ensure you get the compensation for your damages that you rightfully deserve.