The 3 Most Important Things to do Right After a Car Accident
No matter how skilled or cautious you are behind the wheel, being involved in a car accident is a very real possibility. On average, there are around six million car accidents every year in the US alone. The majority of them only cause vehicle damage, while around 33 percent involve injury to the driver or passengers.
It may not be possible to avoid a collision entirely, but there are a number of steps you can take to ensure that you are personally and financially protected in the event of an incident. It’s not uncommon to feel traumatized and make rash decisions in situations like these but keeping the following points in mind will help you walk away untroubled.
Check for Injuries
Your physical health and that of your passengers should be your first priority. While they may not be immediately apparent, internal injuries can also be dangerous. So, your first step always should be to call 911. After that, check for any visible injuries and, if possible, address anything serious such as bleeding with the first aid kit in your car.
Calling 911 serves two important purposes. It notifies the authorities that an accident has occurred and ensures that medical services will be brought to the scene, thus helping anyone who needs more serious attention get transported to the emergency room sooner rather than later.
What’s more is that the police will obtain all the necessary information about the other party involved, such as the make of their vehicle, license plate number, and insurance details. They will also get the names of any potential witnesses for a statement. This can help you later down the line if the other driver tries to blame you for the accident.
Call Your Insurer
Before contacting your insurer, be sure to document the accident. Take pictures of the damage caused and the general area where it occurred. If you had a dashcam recording, be sure to save the footage, as this can be valuable in proving that the accident wasn’t your fault. You should also take a moment to exchange contact details with the other driver if possible.
From here, contact your insurer. They are there to help you and will do anything necessary to ensure that you aren’t held responsible for the damages caused. It’s likely that the other party’s insurer will also call you. If this happens, you should avoid talking to them at all costs. Regardless of what they say, you have no obligation to speak to them.
This is because the other insurance company will attempt to use your personal information or records about your past life to downplay the extent of the injuries you suffered or otherwise make an attempt to save money for their company.
Speak to an Attorney
Most people understand that it doesn’t matter how safe of a driver you are and you may to some extent be responsible for the accident caused. However, with the help of an attorney, you can avoid many possible pitfalls that come with being in a car accident, such as frivolous litigation from the other driver or their insurance company.
If the other party was clearly at fault an experienced attorney will help you take the right steps to ensure that you’re fairly compensated. Remember that there are many attorneys who operate on numbers and may not have your best interests in mind, which is why it’s important to choose the right one.
Contact Our Office
Consider printing the above information or keeping it as a note on your smartphone. While it would certainly be better if you never need it, it may just come in handy. If you ever find yourself in this situation, please contact experienced Jersey City car accident attorney Brian Freeman. Call our office to schedule a free consultation.
Out of Town Legal Resources
The other day, a young man called our office looking for help with a car accident case in Georgia. We practice in New Jersey, but we found these personal injury lawyers in Sandy Springs, GA that did a great job with their online legal guides and videos. If you or someone you know is ever injured in a car accident in Georgia, take a look at their online Georgia Car Accident Guide.