Car accidents can happen when we least expect them. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, more than 2.3 million people in the U.S. were injured in auto accidents in 2014 alone. The traumatic nature of a crash can make it difficult to think clearly and In the event that you are involved in an accident, it is vital to have a plan in place. Knowing what you will do beforehand can help you to effectively deal with the other drivers, passengers, police, and insurance companies.
Here are seven things you should do if you are ever involved in an accident:
- Make sure everyone is safe: After an accident, the health and safety of everyone involved are the most important concerns. Before anything else, check on yourself and other parties and get medical help for anyone who sustained injuries. If you are able to do so, move yourself and your vehicle to a safe location where you can begin to assess the situation.
- Exchange information: Once you have moved to a safe location, it is important to exchange contact and insurance information with the other drivers involved in the accident. Be sure to record driver’s license numbers, license plate numbers, and the information of any passengers involved.
- Get the police involved: Even when minor accidents do not result in injuries or serious damage, it is vital to call the police. Law enforcement officers will talk to everyone involved and file an official report outlining the details of the accident. When talking to the police, do not lie about the accident. If you do not know the answer to an officer’s question, say so. Be sure to document the officer’s information as well as the incident report number.
- Be mindful of what you say: While it is important to remain calm and exchange contact and insurance information with other involved parties, do not say more than you have to regard the nature of the accident. In some cases, simply stating that you are “sorry” can later be seen as an admission of guilt. Do not incriminate yourself by discussing who was at fault in an accident with another driver.
- Collect evidence: The time directly after an accident is among the most critical for gathering information and collecting evidence. Any information you gather regarding your accident may be able to help you maximize potential claims. If possible, take pictures and videos of the accident, the surrounding areas, and any injuries that occurred. If witnesses are available, record their statements and collect their contact information.
- Notify your insurance: Along with law enforcement, you must also notify your insurance carrier or agent as soon as possible. Your insurance will need to know exactly what happened and it is important to answer honestly. Providing false information to your insurance company may lead to the forfeiture of your claim.
- Hire a lawyer: Securing the services of an attorney skilled in handling car accident cases can make a vital difference to your claims process. While the average person will only deal with an accident a few times in their life, attorneys are knowledgeable in the laws surrounding personal injury and car accidents and can help to maximize claims.
PERSONAL INJURY AND CAR ACCIDENT ATTORNEYS
If you or a loved one has been involved in a minor or severe car accident, you may be able to claim restitution. The Lincoln City personal injury attorneys at Andrews Ersoff & Zantello LLC have helped numerous clients in your position to get the most out of their personal injury claim. The sooner you call our firm, the sooner we can help you seek the justice that you deserve.