Do You Know What To Do After A Car Accident?
Unfortunately, most of us will probably be involved in a car accident at some point. Though you may not be able to guess exactly how you'll react to a crash, knowing what to expect can make this unpleasant experience less overwhelming.
what to do immediately after the accident
Take a few deep breaths to process what's happened. Once you're ready, take the following steps:
- Check to see if anybody is injured. This includes yourself, your passengers and anybody in the other vehicle. If anybody has been serious injured call 9-1-1.
- Stay on the scene. Take note of the other vehicle's make and model, and record the license plate number. Ask for the other driver’s personal information and write it down yourself or take a photo with your cell phone. Get their name, address, phone number and insurance information.
- Keep yourself safe. If your car is stopped in traffic or otherwise in a dangerous place, pull to the nearest parking lot or roadside. Turn off your engine and turn on your hazard lights.
- Document the accident. Exchange information and take pictures of any damage if possible to both vehicles. Police may not respond to the scene if there are no injuries so you may have to be the one taking down the information. If there are any witnesses, please take down their information as stories change following an accident when they are reported to an insurance company. It is imperative to have the contact information for independent witnesses.
how to respond to the insurance company
After you return home, call your insurance company to notify them of the accident. If you do speak with the adverse vehicle's insurance company do not provide them with any recorded statements. The statements are used for their purpose only and can be confusing and your statement may be taken out of context. I highly suggest that you contact an attorney to find out your rights before proceeding.
post accident self care
Coping with an accident isn't just about nursing physical injuries. Your mental health is equally as important. You may feel a mix of emotions from shock and disbelief to anger or guilt. Don't hesitate to share the experience with loved ones or a professional counselor. If you're still having trouble feeling comfortable behind the wheel after a few weeks consider taking a defensive driving course.
Even minor accidents can have serious effects so give yourself time to recover and make sure you seek the necessary medical attention as soon as possible. If you do not have the funds to pay for a doctor or you have a high deductible on your health insurance, call our office and ask for help.
Our experienced personal injury attorneys at Allen, Flatt, Ballidis & Leslie provide reliable legal representation you may need to protect your rights and we can advise you whether or not an accident may warrant legal action. We offer a free consultation, so call us at 949-752-7474 to schedule your free consultation today.
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