There are approximately 10 million car accidents every year in this country. From fender benders to major collisions, there are several things to remember if you find yourself in a crash. A car accident injury lawyer gave us some things to keep in mind in case you experience a car crash.
Do not leave the scene. Get to a safe place and then call the police. Even if the accident is minor in nature, an officer will provide an accident report. This documentation by the police is crucial for insurance and legal claims that may come about. If you don’t think the accident is serious enough for 911, it’s a good idea to program the number to the local police on your phone ahead of time, that way you have it on hand. Remember, one in seven drivers is uninsured. If the crash you’re in involves an uninsured driver, and you’ve made an agreement about the damage payment without police documentation, chances are you’ll be the one covering the expenses.
Stay calm as you exchange information with the other driver. It will likely be a stressful and intense situation, but losing your cool won’t help make anything better. Even if it’s a minor accident, you get the other person’s name, phone number and insurance agency. Also, consider jotting down their license plate number or taking a picture of it. Everything may seem minor at that moment, but you never know what issues may arise in the aftermath of the collision.
Check for witnesses who were not in any of the cars involved in the crash. Collect their name and phone number. The scene may be chaotic, so ask for a business card. If they don’t have one and you can’t write down their information, record it on your smartphone.
Document the aftermath with photos. If you don’t carry a smartphone, it’s a good idea to keep a disposable camera in the glove box. Take as many pictures as you can of the accident scene. Be sure to focus on the damage to the vehicle and any injuries that may have happened as well. Get various angles if it’s possible (and safe). If you are using a smartphone, it’s not a bad idea to get some video of the scene as well.
If the accident is serious, you may need to hire an attorney. Depending on the extent of you injuries or the amount of damage done to your car, an attorney may be the best course of action for you to receive compensation from the responsible person.