With the rising number of car accidents occurring daily, one must prepare for the unexpected and have an understanding of how to act and what to do moments after the accident occurs. These accidents usually leave physical and, very often, emotional scars, which can only be dealt with the help of a professional. Unfortunately, despite the many consequences following the incident, a lot of people remain deprived of their basic rights without claiming any compensation for the damage done. To prevent this from happening to you, be informed and know the steps you should take if you get into a car accident.
Seek medical help
One of the first steps to take, moments after the accident, is to call an ambulance and seek medical help. Step out of the vehicle, approach the other party involved and make sure he/she is in good health. No matter if you have sustained mild injuries, seeking medical help should be your top priority. Of course, this has several advantages, one of which is reducing the negative effects of whiplash injuries, as the immediate intervention of a doctor could prevent them. Furthermore, you’ll need the medical reports moments after the accident to support your claim in court or during settlement once you’ve decided to go after compensation. Never play with your health, as the only person suffering afterward is none other than yourself.
Contact a lawyer
Sometimes, in a state of distress and mild shock, we completely forget to take rational actions that are there to protect us and our rights. Unfortunately, due to the emotional state they find themselves in, most car accident victims rarely contact a lawyer after the incident. Instead, they wait for weeks, thereby affecting their claim and its legitimacy. Instead of waiting, we advise action. A lawyer can immediately tell you what claim you have as he/she is very well acquainted with the many types of car accidents and the process following each individual situation. The strongest claim you have is in the case of negligence when the other party involved committed several offenses, causing an accident that resulted in injury. Such cases are often the most common, and to support your claim and make sure to gather the needed evidence, you’ll have to work with your lawyer and gather all the needed proof. This includes the previously mentioned medical report and forensics, as well as additional documentation relevant to the whole case.
We do have to warn you of the statute of limitations, a right we’ll discuss later, but the bottom line is that the longer you wait, the weaker your claim becomes until the moment where you legally cannot claim any compensation.
Exchange contact information
The other party involved feels as equally distressed as you, and moments after the collision, we advise seeking out the other person to help and exchange contact details and information. If the collision resulted only in a few bumps to the bumper and some mild injuries, you can take the person’s number and contact their insurance company for further instructions. You’re required by law to call 911 and help if the person is bleeding or has sustained serious injuries. Move your cars to the side of the road, but before that, make sure to take a few pictures of the whole scene to support your claim later on. Video footage would also come in handy, to further support your rights and avoid any small talk outside of the accident, as even the most insignificant remark could cost you your compensation. Therefore, avoid sentences such as; “I felt a bit off myself today”, “Maybe I was going a bit faster than supposed” and similar statements.
In the case of motorcycle accidents, we highly advise always wearing the needed protection gear as it only helps your claim and can prevent serious injuries. Know that even when you have sustained more damage, sometimes your negligence in terms of carrying out all the preventive steps can push the blame onto your side. Therefore, respect the rules, wear the gear, and keep your eyes wide open when driving. This also applies to cars, as a flat tire or bad brakes can cost you a lot.
One last thing, don’t make any deals on the spot about possible payment methods or compensation. Wait until you hear from your lawyer before settling for anything.
Gather all the evidence
Make sure to gather all the needed evidence before going to court or for a settlement. Forensics, footage, pictures, and medical reports are all a must. Once you have assembled all the needed info, with the help of your lawyer, you should have the right to claim all the missed work days, medical bills, sustained emotional trauma, and other possible injuries that were a consequence of the accident.
We can only wish you luck, and last but not least, we advise you to have patience and never share details regarding the accident with anyone except your lawyer, not even family members or close relatives until the issue is resolved.