Accidents Happen: 6 Things You Need To Do After A Car Accident
No one expects to be involved in a car accident. Unfortunately, they're more common than you might think. In fact, about 2.3 million people are injured in car accidents each year in the United States alone. When a car accident happens, you might not know what to do next, especially if you're injured or in shock. Here are four things you should do as soon as a car accident occurs.
Stop Your Car
This is important. Even if your car has not sustained significant damage, or the other driver has left the scene, you still need to pull over and stop your car. Leaving the scene of an accident is a crime throughout the United States. Pull over to the side of the road as soon as it's safe to do so.
Protect Yourself and the Scene
Once you've been in an accident, you'll want to protect yourself and the scene. This is particularly important if there is accident debris in the road, or any of the cars are disabled in the road.
If your emergency flashers are working, be sure to turn them on. Place flares in the street to alert passing motorists. If you don't have access to flares, you can also use flashlights for emergency lighting. It's a good idea to keep flares and flashlights in your car for emergency situations.
Call the Police
As soon as you've secured the accident scene, you'll need to call the police. This is important even if no one has been injured. The police will be able to provide you with the accident report you'll need for insurance purposes. The police report will also provide useful information if you have to sue the other driver – or if the other driver decides to sue you.
This is always an important thing to do after any car accident. If you're able to leave your car – and you can locate your cell phone – take pictures of the accident scene. Some of the pictures you should take include:
- Pictures of all the cars involved – from several different angles
- Pictures of the area surrounding the accident – including side streets and traffic lights
- Pictures of any injuries – to document severity
After the accident, you'll be exchanging information with the other drivers involved in the accident. However, it's also important that you exchange information with any witnesses that may be present. Take down their names and phone numbers so that you're attorney can contact them. You should also give them your phone number so that they can contact you if they remember anything.
Seek Legal Advice
After your car accident, you're going to be dealing with the insurance company. If you've been injured, you're also going to be dealing with your medical needs. You're going to need legal advice. Sit down with a car accident attorney as soon as you can. They'll be able to answer any questions you may have. They'll also help ensure that you're rights as an accident victim are protected. For more information, contact The Jaklitsch Law Group or a similar firm.