In America alone, six million car crashes occur every single year. This makes road accidents a sad but inevitable fact of life. No matter how good a driver is, they will not be immune to the failings of others.
When someone is involved in a car crash, it can be a challenge to think clearly. A person can be in a state of shock or experiencing physical pain. This article provides seven key things to action following such an incident.
Appoint a Personal Injury Lawyer
If a third party was responsible for the incident, and you were hurt, the help of an attorney can be crucial. They can help a person present their legal request for compensation, and can assist in proving negligence. According to the professionals from this law firm, the public actively seeks attorneys online. They want details of legal successes and settlements and to read client reviews. The public also wants access to free consumer guides and consultations.
Clear The Road
Straight after an accident, a person may only be aware of themselves and the other vehicle. If the incident has occurred on the road every car must be safely removed to the side as soon as possible. Remove any broken lights or other debris from the freeway. This is because it’s all too common for one accident to create another, usually when someone travels at speed towards stationery vehicles in the road.
Human life is always paramount, so everyone should be kept safely away from the road. It may be okay to wait inside the car, but if there is the smell of smoke or fuel this could be dangerous. Cars can overheat and catch fire in some circumstances, and gasoline can create explosions.
Call The Police
It is illegal at this stage for anyone to leave the scene of the accident before the Police have arrived. A Police report is a legal obligation if a vehicle has to be towed away or alcohol was involved. The same thing applies if there is a commercial car, a physical injury, or vehicle damage exceeding $500.
It is important to request a copy of the report when it has been produced, as it could provide key legal evidence. Ask for the Policeman’s name and the report number for future reference.
Gain Medical Help
If anyone has been hurt, call 911. Adrenaline can cover over a person’s pain, so it is important to be wise.
Later on, the affected parties should seek a doctor’s advice. They may conduct such tests as X-rays and compile a medical report. In some cases, doctors refer their patients for a specialist consultation. Once again, such data can be key in supporting a legal case.
Ascertain What Happened
At this stage, it is important to remain calm and non-confrontational. Emotions may be high, and there could be a lot of adrenaline in peoples’ systems. If someone is unsure who was responsible for the incident, it’s important to not use such words as ‘sorry’ as this could be seen as an admission of liability.
The most productive scenario is where all parties agree as to what happened and why. If someone accepts responsibility from the start, the legal process will be much easier.
It’s also important to contact your insurance company on day one. Maintain a consistent story, so your case is not invalidated.
If you were injured, take pictures of this. Also, capture details of the cars and the damage they have sustained. Take photos of the license plates too.Additionally, take pictures of the surroundings (including road signs and landmarks) as they can form part of the legal evidence. This may apply if there is a poorly maintained road containing loose stones, potholes, low hanging trees, or poor lighting.
Collect The Key Data
It is essential to gather the name, address, and phone number of the other party. Take a picture of their insurance document and driving license if they will let you. Ascertain whether they are the legal owner of the car, and if not, find out who is. Make a note of the date and time and the make and model of their vehicle.
If there are witnesses, obtain their contact details as their statement could be crucial to your case. If they are happy for it to occur, record them detailing the recent events on your phone.
In time, there will hopefully be a financial settlement. It may be that everyone will physically recover and the cars will be repaired. Then life can continue as normal once again.