Whether an accident is a major collision or a minor fender-bender, it can be stressful. Although, it is very important to stay focused and calm in these type of situation. Everyone has their way to deal with an accident.
But, what’s the best way to deal with an accident? There are several things you should keep in mind if you face this kind of unexpected situation.
If you’re involved in an auto accident, take the following things into account and be prepared for the unpredictable.
Step 1: Stay Calm and Check for Injuries
Immediately after an accident, pull over the vehicle to a safe place and stay calm. However, never leave the accident scene as you can face a severe penalty for a hit and run case.
If you can, check yourself and your fellow passengers for injuries. Immediately call 911 and wait for the medical assistance. If a person is severely injured, don’t move until the help arrives or they are in immediate danger.
Step 2: Call the Police
In the meantime, call the police or ask someone else do it. File a police report immediately. Yes, you can file it later on but chances are the information won’t be as accurate. You may need this report to file a claim with an insurance company. When the police arrive, tell them everything to the best of your ability. Also, make sure statements given by other persons at the scene are accurate too.
Step 3: Exchange Information
Get the name, address, phone number, license numbers, necessary insurance information and license plate numbers of all the drivers involved in the accident. Gathering this information can help you in the court and filing a claim.
However, be cautious while discussing the accident. Do not agree to anything at the accident scene or apologize for anything. Even if you think the accident was your fault, don’t tell anyone. You may be indirectly admitting legal liability for what happened. Don’t reveal the details to anyone other than your insurance company, the police or your attorney. Don’t talk to insurer and lawyer of the other party without the knowledge of your attorney or insurance company.
Step 4: Talk to Witnesses
If possible, it is a great idea to talk to the witnesses at the accident scene and ask for their name and contact information. It would be better if you can record the views of the witnesses so they can help you later in the trial.
Also, if you happen to have a smartphone, take some photographs of the accident and the vehicles involved in it. It is a wise idea to photograph the visible injuries while you can. These pictures will help you in the claiming process, and your insurance company determines how much should be compensated. But, don’t interfere in the police investigation.
Step 5: Notify the Insurance Company
Make sure to report about the accident to your insurance company as soon as possible. Many insurance policies require the immediate reporting of the accident. So, explain the facts clearly and truthfully. You can face some serious trouble if you don’t tell them the whole truth. You can also review police report file to check who broke the rules or who was at fault.
Step 6: Be Wary Of Early Settlement Offers
Confirm all your injuries have been treated before accepting any settlement from the insurance company. Don’t settle until you know it’ll be enough to compensate your injuries. Some pains and injuries become apparent hours after the actual accident or collision. So, keep in mind these things during the settlement.
Also, consult your attorney before agreeing or signing to any settlement offer.
Step 7: Hire an Attorney
Whether the injuries are serious or not, it’s best to hire an auto injury attorney. If you have your personal attorney, consult him as soon as possible. A lawyer can help you make the most of your recovery or defend you if you’re at fault. Many attorneys work on contingency fees. It means you only have to pay the lawyer if you receive the damages or a settlement. But, make sure to have an experienced and professional attorney. Contact an auto injury attorney in Los Angeles now.
Now, bear these tips in mind to protect yourself from unnecessary worries.