Although no one wants to find themselves in a car accident, each year over 10 million accidents occur in the United States. Therefore it is best to be prepared for what to do if you are in an accident so you know how to properly handle the situation. Keep these tips in mind from a car accident lawyer.
Prior to Driving
Before you head out to the car, take steps that will lessen your stress should you end up in an accident. Make sure you have a copy of your insurance information with you. Know where it is. Also have pen and paper in your car. In addition, don’t forget to buckle up as your chance of survival increases significantly if you are properly restrained. In 2012 two-thirds of people killed in an accident were not properly buckled in.
Immediately Proceed to Safety
Many people feel that after an accident they have to stop wherever they are. This includes in the middle of an expressway. If you have been in an accident your first priority should be to get to a safe location as quickly as possible. This is not considered leaving the scene of the accident. Find someplace close to the accident site where you will be safe as you assess the damage and communicate with the other driver. If it is not safe to move your vehicle don’t. Just make sure you and your passengers move to a safe location. This assumes that the accident was minor, and no one was severely injured.
Check For Injuries
Check yourself, your passengers and the people in the other vehicle for injuries. Seek medical attention immediately if any injuries are identified. If you have been in a wreck it is advised you get checked out by a doctor to make sure you don’t have any injuries you can’t see. This is true even if you feel fine immediately following the accident.
Communicate Carefully With The Other Party
You will want to make sure the other driver is OK and get his or her information. Be careful what you say during the conversation though. Don’t admit fault or say you are sorry as those words may be used against you in the future.
Collect Relevant Information
In addition to collecting insurance information from the other driver, be sure to record details about the accident. If you have a camera or a phone camera take pictures of the scene. Not only will this record where the accident happened and the amount of damage but it will also show the weather conditions. You can write these details down if a camera is not available. Also note the traffic level and all of the details you remember about the accident. It will be harder to recall these things later on. In addition to the insurance information of the other driver, also note the make, model, year and license plate number of their car.
Contact a Personal Injury Attorney
It is best to contact a personal injury attorney as soon as possible after a car accident. The attorney will help you through the process and ensure you are treated fairly by the insurance companies. The law can be complicated for someone unfamiliar with it. An experienced attorney can help you navigate the details. You should hire a personal injury attorney before you settle with the insurance company as you could make a costly mistake.
If you find yourself in a car accident contact Wilson Kehoe Winingham so we can assist you.