According to research, more than 10 million light truck and car accidents occur each year in the United States alone. Not to mention, around 4,597 people lost their lives in motorcycle accidents, while about 93,000 suffered severe injuries.
An automobile accident is a hazardous and frightening experience. When individuals have an accident, they will feel scared, confused, and might go into shock, whether it is a minor or a major accident. It can be highly nerve-wracking for the parties involved.
While we hope you won’t ever fall victim to a life-threatening automobile accident. However, if by some misfortune you do, knowing what steps you should take will ultimately decide whether you walk away unscathed or succumb to your injuries.
That said, if you’re involved in an auto accident, you will have to deal with expensive medical bills and will eventually miss work. However, if you decide to take legal action against the at-fault party, you could recoup some of these expenses.
Listed below are a few steps a person should take immediately after an auto accident. After all, the way you react after an accident is crucial to your legal case.
Step #1 Ensure you are safe
You might feel shaky or disoriented after an auto accident. It is a regular thing. Remain calm and take a deep breath. Afterward, when you’ve regained your senses, turn on your hazard indicators and pull your car out of the zone.
If you smell gasoline, get out of your car right away. Regardless, your safety is of the utmost importance. The said, ensure that you don’t leave the scene of the accident. Doing so could put you at legal risk.
Moreover, things can become tricky when you file a claim later on. So, maintain your ground and remain as calm and possible. Did you know that the Colorado State Department stated that in November 2020, there were more than 450 fatal road accidents?
Even though traffic is thinner due to the ongoing pandemic, several fatal road accidents are reported regularly. If you’re a biker involved in an accident in the state of Colorado and sustained injuries or worse, it would be best if you’d get in touch with a Colorado motorcycle accident lawyer. Doing so will allow you to hire an experienced lawyer who’ll provide you with the best possible outcome for the situation.
Step #2 Call the authorities
After moving your car to a safe zone, call the authorities, such as the police, and inform them that you were in an auto accident. For example, it is a legal requirement to report accidents in some American states such as Tennessee.
When the police arrive, the officer in charge will create a report to document the accident. Furthermore, you should acquire the report number and the commanding officer’s name and badge number for legal purposes.
While you wait, try to avoid the small talk as much as possible. Also, you mustn’t force the issues by offering your opinion about who caused the accident. Instead, exchange necessary legal information with the other driver and wait for the authorities to arrive.
Step #3 Gather all facts related to the accidents
While you’re waiting for the authorities to analyze the accident, collect the information you require to file a claim. For instance, you’ll have to acquire the other driver’s; insurance information, driver’s license number, license plate number, address, phone number, and most importantly, their name. Next, assess the situation and take a look around.
Obtain as much information as you can regarding the crash, including;
- the time and date of the crash
- where it happened
- the details of the road you were on
- the direction in which you and the other driver were traveling
- your recollection of what caused the crash
- the driving condition
You might forget precise details about what happened during the accident. So, taking notes while you’re at the scene will allow you to document all facts as accurately as possible. Lastly, try to take photos of the crash. Your insurance company will likely ask you to provide photo evidence of the accident. So, get ahead and do it if it is possible.
Step #4 Contact your insurance company
After the auto accident, you’ll have to get in touch with your insurance company. Even though the accident might not have occurred due to your negligence, you’ll need to inform them that you were in a wreck, especially if the other driver doesn’t have insurance. Your insurance company will also provide your accident lawyer with information about the other driver and their insurance company.
If, for some reason, the other driver’s insurance company doesn’t contact you within a few days, you should contact them to inform them that one of their drivers was involved in an auto accident.
Furthermore, when talking to either your or the other driver’s insurance company, please provide them with only the most basic details about the crash. Moreover, if you’ll ask your attorney to get involved, don’t provide a recorded statement at all. The other driver’s attorney or insurance company might use this against you to dent the claim.
Auto accidents occur daily. However, if you experience one, try to keep a calm head on your shoulders and analyze everything with a clear mind. How you respond after the accident could end up hurting your claim.
Moreover, if you don’t have an attorney, don’t forget to hire one who has tons of experience in auto accident-related cases. They’ll help you obtain maximum compensation and guide you through the entire claim process.