Most drivers never think about unfortunate events that may occur on the road, like getting involved in a car accident. However, the reality is that millions of car accidents occur every year across the globe. When you get involved in a car accident, the first thought that crosses your mind isn’t to protect your rights. Instead, the chaos that characterizes an accident scene can leave you feeling confused and wondering what steps to take.
Knowing the initial steps that you need to take can enhance your safety, keep you from being frustrated over insurance companies during claim filing, and prepare you to maneuver the situation with ease. If you’re not sure what to do after a car accident, here are five recommended steps that you should take:
- Move Your Car To The Road Side
Whenever an accident occurs, it’s important that you get off the harm’s way right away. The best way to do this is to move your car to the road side and prevent further damage or injury. Once you’re in a safe location, check whether you’ve sustained injuries. If you have passengers in the car, ask them to check for injuries as well.
- Place A 911 Call
If there’s an injured person, place a 911 call immediately. It helps to place that call even when no one in the car has been injured because it enables you to get a police report about the accident later. Although not all police departments respond to car accidents wherein no injuries are reported, it’s still worth making the 911 call. Ideally, police should be called to the accident scene since getting an accident report is critical when you want to file claims for injuries and damages.
- Seek Medical Treatment
After an accident, the most important thing to do is to secure your health and safety. As such, getting treatment should be a priority after being involved in an accident. If there are paramedics on the scene, ensure that they check you out, and that the injuries you sustained are treated and documented.
It’s important to see a doctor at the accident scene or the emergency room, even when you’re not in pain, because injuries like whiplash aren’t immediately apparent or obvious. Getting medical attention ensures that your injuries are documented by a medical professional so that there’s a clear link between those injuries and the accident.
After receiving treatment, ensure that you follow treatment instructions that your doctor issues you to the latter. This means taking medication as prescribed and attending all follow-up appointments that your doctor schedules. Also, maintain a good medical record of the treatment you receive. Doing all these will enable your personal injury lawyer Ottawa or wherever in the world to pursue fair compensation from your insurer.
- Document Evidence And Collect Information
Most people are good at gathering contact and insurance information about the other parties who are involved in the accident. But, few know how to document evidence at the scene of an accident.
If you’re involved in a car accident, ensure that you document evidence including when the accident happened and where it happened. Gather photographic evidence by taking photos of the damages on your car, injuries sustained, and accident scene.
Also, take detailed notes about everything that you recall, including moments before the accident occurred, events that occurred after the accident, and what unfolded afterwards. Furthermore, get the names of witnesses and their contact information. Doing so is critical in giving you a clear recollection of everything that happened during the accident because memories fade fast.
- Don’t Admit Liability; Get A Car Accident Lawyer Instead
Whether you’re involved in a minor car accident or a major one, it helps to consult a lawyer before engaging your insurer or agreeing to any settlement offer. When you’re involved in a car accident, ensure that you don’t admit being at fault. Although you may feel like you’re at fault, evidence may be evaluated only for the results to reflect otherwise.
Also, car insurance firms tend to be quick to make quick settlement offers that, in most instances, are much lower than what you’re entitled to receive. Accepting such an offer means a claim has been completed, even when it occurs to you that the claim isn’t sufficient to cover all the damages suffered.
Getting an experienced car accident lawyer will enable you to negotiate a fair settlement offer, and if not successful, the lawyer will defend your right to receive fair compensation in a court of law.
Car accidents are extremely common, but the steps you take as soon as you’re involved in one can affect your injury and damage compensation significantly. If you find yourself in a car accident, take the five steps discussed above to ensure that you stay safe and receive fair compensation from your insurance company.