A Step-by-Step Guide to Properly Handling a Traffic Accident

Did you know that there are around 14,386 car accidents each day? That equates to a collision every six minutes. Car accidents can happen quickly. Most of the time you don’t see them coming, which makes it challenging to know what to do next.

If you’ve been in an auto accident, there are a few things you should do right after. Following these tips will ensure the safety of you and everyone else involved. You’ll also improve your chances of receiving a personal injury settlement if the car accident was caused by a neglectful driver.

Our step-by-step guide will provide you with the tools you need to navigate a post-accident scene. Make the claims process easier as you safely handle a traffic accident.

Get Your Car to a Safe Location

Most of the time car accidents happen in the middle of the road. Move your car to a nearby parking lot if your car is driveable and you’re not injured. Staying on the road or at an intersection could cause more car accidents.

Stay inside your car if you can’t move it. Tell everyone in the car to keep their seatbelts on. Switch on your hazard lights so you can let nearby drivers know you’re in the way.

Don’t Leave the Scene

Leaving the scene of an accident, even if you’re not at fault, won’t look good for your injury claim. Experienced personal injury attorneys will tell you that prematurely leaving the scene could make you look guilty. Stay at the scene, even if you or another person needs immediate medical attention.

Emergency personnel can start helping you or another injured person at the scene of the accident. Trying to drive to the emergency room could take longer. You’ll receive treatment much faster if you stay put.

Additionally, fleeing the scene of an accident where someone is injured is illegal in many states. It’s considered a “hit-and-run.” There are harsh penalties if you leave.

Even if you didn’t cause the accident, the other party might be injured. Leaving the accident scene could result in fines and jail time.

Call 911

It’s important to report a car accident, especially if someone’s been injured. A police report is a key piece of evidence a personal injury attorney will use when working on your case. Gather the following information from the reporting police officer:

  • Name
  • Badge number
  • Phone number and email

Your attorney can request a copy of the police report after they’ve filed it.

Figure Out if Anyone Is Hurt

Car accidents can have a major impact on your body. You might not show outward signs of being injured. However, there are countless car accident-related injuries that might take a few days to appear.

Some of these injuries include:

  • Concussions
  • Whiplash
  • Bruises, burns, and lacerations
  • Spinal cord injuries
  • Internal trauma
  • Broken bones
  • Brain injuries
  • Post-traumatic stress disorder

Get a medical exam as soon as you can after your accident. Your physician can identify and diagnose any injuries you might’ve sustained during the accident.

Seeking medical treatment isn’t just for protecting your overall health. A proper diagnosis from a medical professional is key for building your car accident claim.

Gather Information

Collecting information and evidence from the scene is another important step in the process. Get information from the other party, including:

  • Name
  • Driver’s license number
  • Insurance information
  • Vehicle registration numbers

You can write down the information or take a picture of it. You’ll also want to get contact information from eyewitnesses. Your car accident attorney will likely want to contact them as they build their case.

If it’s safe, take videos and photos of the car accident scene. These pieces of evidence are important when your attorney reconstructs the accident.

Keep an eye out for nearby cameras that might’ve recorded your accident. This can include:

  • Red light cameras
  • Surveillance videos
  • People recording with their phones

Don’t Talk to the Other Party

It’s perfectly normal to check on the other party and ensure everyone is safe. However, avoid pushing the conversation beyond that topic. You don’t want to say anything that could be interpreted as you admitting guilt.

You’ll also want to remain calm after the accident. Stay collected will help you process the accident more clearly. Your emotions will be running high after a car accident. Don’t get upset, apologize, or yell at the other party.

Have Your Car Towed

You’ll need to have your car towed if you can’t drive it after the accident. Call your insurance company to see if they’ll cover the cost of towing it. Get the driver’s business card as soon as they show up.

Contact Your Insurance Company

Some drivers avoid reporting a car accident to their insurance provider. That’s because they don’t want their premium rates to go up.

Waiting too long to report your accident could cause them to automatically dismiss your claim. It might also prevent you from seeking compensation for your injuries.

You mustn’t admit fault when talking with your insurance adjuster. Anything you say to them will be used against you. That’s because they don’t want to have to pay out a large amount for your accident.

Get a Lawyer

You’re entitled to compensation if your injuries were caused by a negligent driver. Some of the things you can get compensated for include:

  • Medical bills
  • Car repairs or replacement
  • Lost wages
  • Loss of future wages
  • Future medical bills
  • Pain and suffering

An experienced personal injury attorney will evaluate your claim. They’ll determine if you have enough to seek compensation. They can also let you know how much money you can expect to receive.

Contact a Personal Injury Attorney After a Traffic Accident

Car accidents can be stressful, overwhelming, and scary. You need to focus on healing and spending time with your loved ones after a car accident. Partner with an experienced attorney to fight for your rights. They’ll work tirelessly to seek the maximum amount of compensation possible on your behalf.

Did you find this article helpful? The Sized is the leading destination for information on money, legal issues, health, and more. Check out another blog to discover useful tips and tricks for improving your life.

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