What to do after a Car Accident
For a minute, consider that 1.3 million people die in traffic accidents every year in the US. That’s an average of over 3000 people every day. A much larger number, around 50 million, suffer injuries in traffic accidents. Despite that, less than 1-percent of fatalities result from vehicle accidents. If you’re involved in an accident, you should know that it really isn’t that uncommon, but there are steps you need to take. Be sure to know what to do so that you don’t suffer from someone else’s driving mistake. It will make the job easier for your car accident personal injury lawyer to consider these steps.
The Steps to Take After a Car Accident
Stop Your Vehicle
To begin with, don’t drive away after an accident. You don’t want to be accused of fleeing the scene. Take into account what happened. If people look seriously hurt or there’s serious property damage, get out and offer assistance. If it’s a serious accident, wait for the police to arrive. Above all, understand that leaving the scene of an accident is a chargeable offense. Likewise, you’re also required to give help and aid to the injured. It’s a matter of law. It’s important never to drive away from an accident because such an act puts you in legal jeopardy. The car injury law firms may not be able to exonerate you.
Turn on Emergency Flashers
After you’ve stopped, put on your emergency flashers. Flashers indicate that there’s a traffic hazard, so if you’re involved in an accident, the result may be multiple vehicles stranded in the middle of the road. This is an obvious traffic hazard. That’s really the standard for situations that call for emergency flashers.
Call the Police
Call 911 to report an accident when it involves two parties. When other people and another car are mixed up in the accident, report it to the police. In truth, serious accidents can sometimes require ambulances or fire trucks, so don’t hesitate to call 911. While this may be true, if you plunge into a ditch on your own accord and you don’t hit anybody’s vehicle, you aren’t required to report anything to the police. Even if you hit a telephone pole, you can continue on your way without a second thought. In truth, in two-party accidents, it isn’t necessary to have a cop on the scene unless there’s an injury or substantial property damage. If it’s a minor fender bender, you can report the accident to the police at your convenience within 24 hours. If the police arrive on the scene, explain what happened and ask the cops to write up a police report. To help you deal with insurance companies, get a police report. Explain in honest straightforward terms what happened. Your auto injury lawyer will want a copy too.
Put Flares and Markers in the Road
Protect the scene with the use of flares and markers. If the accident is serious, you may want to increase your visibility to oncoming traffic with flares or markers around the scene of the accident, but never engage in putting down flares or markers in traffic.
Write Down What Happened
Write on a piece of paper what happened in your own words. Use diagrams. Memories fade with time, and details are forgotten. Always write down what happened before you forget. If you have a witness, take down their name, address and phone number. Get a written account from any witnesses who are willing to write it down.
Find your Documents
Find your insurance card and have it ready. You may need your vehicle’s registration, and of course, your driver’s license. Be ready to exchange insurance information with the other party involved in the accident.
Take Pictures of the Accident
Take pictures. You may want to argue that it’s the other party’s fault, and photo documentation could help you prove you were not to blame. If you must contact a los angeles car accident lawyer, photo documentation will help.
Don’t Admit Responsibility
Don’t argue at the scene of the accident. You know what happened to cause the accident. Your task now is to get the other driver’s insurance information. Don’t admit blame. Get the insurance information, the driver’s license number and pass it on to your insurance company. They will argue with the other party. The more documentation you can produce that supports your case, the better. If someone insists you admit fault, refuse to have such a conversation.
Collect All Relevant Documents
Start a file of accident documents. This may start with a simple paperclip holding the papers together. Your file might start with the police report and your account of the accident.
Contact an Attorney
Contact a Los Angeles car accident lawyer. The attorney will advise you about how to go forward and will take steps to protect vital evidence. Do not talk to insurance companies until you talk to your attorney. Your attorney wants to make sure you’re compensated for your property damage and any medical attention you need or continue to require.
Whenever you’re in an accident, tempers flare and emotions can run high. You may not contact an attorney right off the bat, but there are vehicle accidents when you should call car injury law firms. These occasions include accidents where you suffer personal injury. Consult a car accident personal injury lawyer as soon as possible. Next, there are accidents that involve a fatality. Contact an auto injury lawyer to find out how to go forward after you’re involved in an accident where someone dies. The last instance that arises that requires an attorney is when an insurance company acts in bad faith. How do insurance companies act in bad faith? They do so in a variety of things, but you should be cognizant of when it happens to you. Here some instances when insurance companies act in bad faith:
1. They don’t investigate your claim.
2. They refuse to pay a claim.
3. They pay you nothing or substantially less money when they’re liable.
4. They offer to pay you less money to settle.
And that’s just the beginning. Contact your attorney whenever you believe an insurance company is cheating you.