5 Steps to Take Immediately After an Auto Collision
Auto collisions can be very frightening and overwhelming. The impact, the adrenaline rush, and the surrounding vehicles all contribute to the intense shock of an accident—even if it involves only a small fender bender.
According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), approximately 5.8 million car accidents occur every year in the U.S. The odds of getting into an accident are quite high. Unfortunately, they can’t be prevented sometimes due to distracted and reckless drivers. If you are involved in an accident, it is important to remain calm and take proper caution by following these 5 steps below:
#1 Make Sure There are No Injuries
The most important step to take when involved in an accident is to make sure that you move your car and passengers to a safe environment—on the shoulder of the road—and away from fast-flowing traffic. Once the car is in a safe location, you should determine whether you or other occupants need immediate emergency attention. If so, call 911 immediately to send an ambulance to the scene of your accident.
Unless the accident is very minor, you and the passenger(s) should seek medical attention following the accident. Often times, certain injuries can go unnoticed due to the adrenaline rush experienced at the time of the scene.
#2 Document Your Findings of the Accident
It is important to have an official police report as this can help determine who was exactly at fault in the accident. This report will be important for the insurance company when you or the other party are making an insurance claim. The insurance company will also be able to reference the report to help determine the fault and your potential compensation.
Ultimately, if you need to file a personal injury lawsuit due to dissatisfied compensation offered by the insurance company, this report will serve as an important piece of evidence in the courtroom.
#3 Document Your Findings of the Accident
Collect information from witnesses on the scene. Make sure to write down their full names and contact information. In addition, take pictures of the full scene including:
- scene of the whole accident
- vehicle damages of both cars
- other factors that were hazardous and directly contributed to the wreck.
#4 Don’t Admit Fault
It can be very frightening after a car crash…so frightening that you tend to apologize to those involved, even if you are not at fault. At times, a victim may think he or she was at fault, but, in reality, there were other factors that contributed to the situation. Therefore, be careful speaking with police and other people involved to avoid mistakenly taking fault for the wreck. This could potentially hurt your ability to recover desirable compensation from your insurance company.
#5 Talk to an Experienced Attorney
If you or a loved one are involved in a serious accident, seek help and representation immediately because you may be entitled to recover compensation for your auto repair, missed time off, injuries, and other financial difficulties. Contact The Cochran Firm Mid-South today at 901-523-1222.