According to various car insurance companies, the average driver will be involved in between three and four non-fatal car accidents in their lifetime. Car accidents are terrifying, disorienting events, and in the moments during and following the accident it is easy to lose sight of certain important considerations that may haunt you down the line. To help you prepare, here are five things you should consider in a car accident.
1. Your rights
You should ensure that your rights are protected in the aftermath of any vehicular accident. Insurance companies often put pressure on those involved to provide statements immediately after an accident, which makes it vital that you seek legal counsel from someone like Motor Accident Legal Service before providing any such statement. Your attorney will then be able to advise you on any number of issues – from compensation for your vehicle to proper medical treatment. Personal injury lawyers actually work on a contingency fee basis. This means you don’t have to pay any legal fees unless you get a win.
2. The scene
Take as many photographs of the accident as you can, of every vehicle involved. This will allow you to keep a record of the damage each vehicle sustained so you can later draw a line between any repairs made via insurance claims to the damage that was present on the day. These records will also be useful should you decide to pursue legal action or have charges brought against you. You should not, of course, interfere with any police investigation while doing this.
3. Be honest
In any accident, police should be called immediately to ensure the incident is investigated quickly and thoroughly. You should tell the investigating officer everything you can about how and when the incident occurred to the very best of your ability. You’ll likely be pretty shaken up so it’s possible you’ll forget things – if you can’t remember something or don’t know the answer to a question, tell the officer exactly that. Do not attempt to fill in any blanks or hazard a guess.
Injuries from motor vehicle accidents often don’t manifest for many hours afterward due to the shock and stress of the accident itself. If you are asked by police or paramedics on scene if you are hurt and you aren’t sure, tell them so. They’ll be able to check you out and see if you have sustained any hidden injuries. You should find out if there were any injuries in the aftermath of the accident and ensure an ambulance is called immediately if so.
5. Exchange information
Under normal circumstances, it is the investigating officer who will collect everyone’s contact details and insurance information but if police do not respond then you will need to get that information yourself. This information will help all of the insurance companies coordinate on any repairs. If there were witnesses to the accident, grab their contact information as well as it may be useful to your legal team later.
Accidents are scary and disorienting, there’s no doubt about that. But, in those first, wild moments after a crash, you will make yourself far more useful to everyone involved if you can stick to the above actions. Have you ever been in a car accident? Did you seek compensation? Sound off in the comments below!
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