Looks like you’ve been in a car accident and don’t know what to do! Well, you’ve come to the right place because I’m going to explain the 4 crucial steps to take right now. Whether it’s your first car accident or 100th (we don’t judge), taking these necessary steps can result in a much smoother and safer process.
– Put on Your Safety Helmet
– Gather the Evidence
– The DO NOTS (not to be mistaken for donuts)
– Make the Right Calls
1.) Put on Your Safety Helmet
One of, if not, the most important things you should do after a car accident is to pull over to safety. This eliminates the chance of being hit again and helps clear up the flow of traffic. Let’s face it, the shock of being hit can sometimes be astronomically high, but making sure you pull over in a safe manner can potentially save others (and yourself) from the effects of another crash.
What if my car is not drivable anymore? If the wreck causes so much damage to your car, safely exit the vehicle and find a location on the side of the road or sidewalk to seek refuge. Typically, our first instinct would be to go where the other driver is but if they are far off, DO NOT go in their direction. Seek the closest possible sidewalk or roadside location that is out of danger of traffic.
If anyone is seriously injured, call 911 right away.
2.) Gather the Evidence
Once you’re in a safe place, you can move onto step 2, gathering ALL evidence at the scene. No matter how tedious this may sound, taking the time to correctly gather evidence can make a big difference later on.
In most wrecks where someone is injured, law enforcement will prepare an accident report. The report usually includes evidence at the scene and statements from each involved party and other eyewitnesses that may be at the scene. Many, many times the party who caused the accident may feel guilty at the scene and admit fault. But if this is not documented in a police report, the insurance company for the person at fault may deny responsibility.
The police will take some time to arrive on the scene. In the meantime, exchange contact information with the other driver. This would include insurance information, phone number, and driver’s license number. Taking pictures of both cars at the scene is very helpful as well.
3.) The DO NOTS (not to be mistaken for donuts)
Keeping in mind a list of “do nots” may seem fairly easy, but when adrenaline is pumping we tend to forget. For safety’s safe never sign anything unless it comes from a reputable source such as a lawyer or police officer. You never know if something you signed may be used against you later on down the road. Likewise, admitting fault may be one of the worst things you could ever do. Often people are mistaken when people think they caused a wreck.
4.) Make the Right Calls
PLEASE, do not take this step until everything else has been completed. Dealing with insurance companies can be complicated! Not to mention, if you’ve sustained major injuries you probably don’t have time to deal with insurance companies, doctors, and so much more. This is where a good lawyer comes in. Settling a claim on your own can take a LONG time and provide LOW results. Having a lawyer in this challenging time takes the weight off your back and usually results in HIGHER results. Finding a good lawyer who fits with you can seem like a challenge, but our team at Chandler Law makes it easy. You can schedule an appointment with us at (559) 431-7770. Tell us about your case!