More than 5 million light truck and car crashes happen in the United States every year. Getting an accident, even minor ones, might be a nerve-wracking experience. In times like this, it can be difficult to think things clearly because of trauma and emotions associated with car accidents.
If you get involved in a car accident, there are a few steps you might need to take so as to protect your interests and yourself. Some of these steps include the following:
- Call 911
When the accident is regarded as a major collision or a minor fender-bender, dialing 911 is important. As a matter of fact, in several states, calling the police is legally required. Responding to police offers will document the scene and help you fill out an accident report.
If police officers are not able to come to the accident scene, you may go to the nearest state and fill the report yourself. This is important because you will need a copy of the police report when filing a claim with an insurance company.
- Get Medical Help
Not every auto accident injury is visible immediately. Symptoms and pain from spine damage, concussions and whiplash might take days or weeks to manifest. The more hours or days you take without seeking medical attention, the higher the risks of making injuries worse.
If those injuries are left untreated, car accident injuries, such as herniated spinal discs and whiplash, can result in chronic pain in the future. Internal bleeding or untreated concussions might also cause permanent brain damage or even threaten your life.
- Talk to an Attorney
If you have received medical help for injuries after you experienced an accident, ensure you keep a record of clinic or doctor visits that you can present to your attorney. Talking to an attorney about your medical treatment is important. This will allow your lawyer to evaluate your case.
Dealing with an insurer is also a daunting task because you may need proof for an accident. Many insurers require evidence before they engage in a claim settlement negotiation. In this case, contacting a professional lawyer will ease your burden of creating detailed demands, collecting important documents and engaging in the fact-finding process.
- Gather Facts of the Accident
Gathering facts of a car accident is a part many individuals know but usually, forget because of the stress of experiencing a tragedy. It is vital to get the phone numbers, names and addresses of every person involved in the car accident.
A full description of a license plate number and car, in general, might also be important. However, ensure you get their car’s VIN (vehicle identification number) and insurance firm details. Don’t just assume that the plate number will do. This is because many insurance firms only record the VIN and type of car, not the plate number.
Car accidents happen every day, even to very careful drivers. After an auto accident, you can be dizzy with adrenaline and enraged at the person who ran a red light.
In this case, the best thing to do is to stay calm. The post-accident procedures are fairly easy but not always straightforward. However, if you can keep your cool, you will be able to document and record the accident more accurately and thoroughly.