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Essential Things to Do After a Car Accident

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Accidents happen, even to the most careful of drivers. In the aftermath of a car accident, it’s easy to lose your cool and do things that are not exactly wise or legal. However, instead of letting adrenaline get the best of you, take a deep breath and focus on protecting yourself and your passengers from further harm.

Here are some of the essential things that you should do after getting involved in a car accident.

Check for any injuries

As soon as possible, stop your car, turn off the engine, and turn on your hazard lights. Check if you or your passengers have sustained any injuries. Remember that it’s normal to feel shaken immediately after the accident, but you should calm yourself down and try to get medical assistance immediately.

Below are some tips to keep in mind when you’re dealing with injuries at the crash site:

  • People who are involved in a car accident often suffer from different types of injuries from the impact, the breaking of glass, and the damage on the vehicle. Back and neck strains, also known as whiplash, are some of the most common types of injuries.
  • Sometimes symptoms for injuries like herniated discs, traumatic brain injuries, or shoulder and knee injuries don’t develop until weeks or even months after the accident. Even with mild pain or a slight indication of injury, you should still get it checked out to rule out internal injuries.
  • Call 911 or an ambulance if anyone is hurt, feeling some form of pain, or complaining about dizziness. Give the dispatcher your name, contact number, location, and a few details about the accident. Don’t get off the line until help arrives.
  • If you don’t have your phone with you, ask bystanders to call for help.
  • Talk to the other driver to get their name, license number, address, contact number, and insurance information.
  • It’s also a good idea to leave your cars as they are. Set up flares or emergency triangles to warn other motorists. Get everyone out of the way if you think there is a possibility of explosion.
  • Remember that even if everyone is being cooperative, calling the police is still a good idea so that you have an official report to hand over to your insurance company. Just remember that in some areas, an office won’t be sent out unless the accident is serious. This means that you might have to file your own report with the police later on.
  • The accident resulted in serious injury or death
  • It’s unclear who’s at fault or the police report does not accurately describe the details of the accident
  • The accident involved other motorists or pedestrians
  • The accident happened in protected areas such as a school or construction zone
  • You believe that the insurance company is acting in bad faith.

Stay at the scene

Unless you really need to, you shouldn’t leave the scene of the accident. Doing so may earn you a hit-and-run violation , especially if the other driver or his passengers sustain injuries or, in worst-case scenarios, die. As shown in the statistics below, fatalities are quite common after a car crash.

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Here are some of the things that you need to do while you are waiting for help:

The police officers that arrive at the scene will let you know if you need to move your car when they constitute a traffic obstruction. Before moving your car, however, take as many photos as you can of the vehicles and the surrounding landmarks. This will serve as evidence when you file a claim with your insurance company later on.

Watch your words

Make sure that you are careful about your words when talking to them. Don’t lose your temper even if they are being aggressive or confrontational. Getting upset or placing blame won’t do you any good in a situation where everyone is already stressed out.

Furthermore, don’t apologize or admit responsibility for what happened. This will protect you from liability if it’s proven later on that the accident wasn’t your fault.

Call a lawyer

A lawyer from reliable and established firms like the Dominguez Firm can help you deal with insurance companies and navigate the legal repercussions after a car accident. They’ll work on your behalf and ensure that your interests are protected.

In most cases, you won’t need the help of a lawyer after a car accident. Here are some examples of instances where calling a lawyer is your best option:

Conclusion

Your responsibility immediately after a car accident is to collect and document evidence and not get involved in further discussions or altercations. Contact a lawyer to help you out when you are struggling to negotiate with the insurance company.

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