Getting into a car accident can be a frightening experience, even if it is a minor one. Often, we find ourselves acting in ways that are unnatural to us. This is because it is difficult for most people to stay calm after an accident, especially if they were injured.
If you escaped from an automobile accident relatively unscathed, there are few responsibilities you have to yourself and the other parties involved.
Do Not Leave The Scene Of The Accident
If you are unclear about who is right or wrong, you might be tempted to leave the scene of an accident. This may have serious legal consequences for you and may deny you the opportunity to pursue a personal injury claim later.
Cordon Off The Scene As Best You Can
This is to prevent anyone else from being injured. If you have flares, you can mark the boundary around the accident area. The point is to keep the area well lit, as you don’t want to suffer further damage or injury or cause it to anyone else.
Call The Police/Ambulance
You’ll need to call the authorities to report the accident. If you decide to file a personal injury claim, it will be important to have an on-the-scene record of what occurred from independent parties. You should also be treated as soon as possible. If you have been injured and a record kept of this as well.
Get The Other Person(S) Details
Don’t leave the scene of the accident without getting or giving insurance and contact details to the other party. It’s actually against the law for you to leave without doing this. Try to get:
- Names and addresses
- Insurance company information
- Registration details. If the vehicle isn’t registered to the person who is driving it, try to get the registered owner’s information
Take Pictures/ Make A Record Of What Happened
Most people carry around cell phones with cameras. This could be used to take pictures of the accident scene for later reference or to be used as evidence in a claim. Details you should make a note of include:
- The time and date of the crash
- The make and models of the vehicles involved
- Damage to the vehicles
- Injuries to persons
- Road conditions
Do Not Admit Liability For The Accident
If you speak to anyone on the scene, do not claim liability for the accident in any way. Apologizing is one of the ways you can accidentally do this. Your well-meant apology could be used against you in a later claim as proof that the accident was your fault. It is better to wait until the chain of events that caused the accident is revealed by the investigation.
Report the accident to your insurance company
Report The Accident To Your Insurance Company
Even if you do not intend to file a claim, report the accident to your insurance company, ideally as soon after the accident as possible.
Get Further Medical Examination If You Need It
If you are not examined at the scene of the accident, make sure you are examined by a doctor in the days after to ensure that you haven’t experienced a potentially serious injury. Most people report that they feel fine days after an accident and it takes time for the pain to register.
Talk to your lawyer
It may be that one of the persons involved in the accident contacts you to let you know they will be seeking personal injury compensation from you. You may also decide after visiting your doctor that you will file your injury claim.
You should speak to your lawyer who can help you determine if you have a case. Most personal injury lawyers will offer a free consultation to see what they can do to help you. Attorneys at attorneybrianwhite.com, say that personal injury lawyers do not get paid unless they get you compensation.
Keep records of everything to do with the accident in one place
If you go the route of seeking compensation after an accident, or if you are sued, having all of your records in one place will come in handy. This helps if you need to provide your lawyer or insurance company with information. It will be readily accessible. It will also help you keep the details of the accident fresh in your mind.
An accident is something you hope you never get into. If the worst should happen, here are a few steps you can take to ensure that you are safe and your rights are protected.