Next Steps After an Accident
Did you know that there are about six million car accidents in the United States alone every single year? That's 500,000 accidents each month, nearly 125,000 every week, and over 17,000 every single day. With that being said, it is nothing short of a miracle to not be involved in a car wreck when you are on the road. While no one is pardoned from the possibility of being in an accident, those who are still deserve every penny of compensation possible when it happens to them regardless of if the odds were in their favor or not.
Data shows that 94% of all car accidents are caused by human error. This can be due to fatigue, distractions like texting, driving under the influence of drugs, alcohol, or medications, and other influences. Someone else's negligence can have a huge impact on the injured, for sure, but also on the injured person's well-being and the well-being of his or her family. Serious car accidents can cause injuries in which the person can't work, which puts his or her livelihood in jeopardy. Not to mention, there are medical bills to be paid and who know how cooperative insurance companies will be. All of this added stress because of someone's lack of ability to drive responsibly? Compensation must be paid.
One can only imagine what all runs through someone's mind after being involved in a car accident, then realizing that injuries were sustained. How bad is this? Will my life ever be the same? Did I do anything wrong to make this happen? Are there any witnesses? These kinds of questions among others are normal and common and should all be taken into consideration. When someone else's negligence behind the wheel results in you being injured, there are critical steps to take to help ensure you get the most compensation possible. Here, we'll address a question that will undoubtedly come up: what do I do next?
1. Put safety first. If possible, turn on your emergency flashers and drive your vehicle to the shoulder of the road. Pay attention to if you smell anything like smoke or gas. If so, try to get out and away from the car. If your car can't be moved and there's no sign of fire or leaking gas, stay put and call 911.
2. Check for injuries. The next thing you'll want to do is see if you or anyone else in your car has any injuries. Try your best to remain calm and make note of even the smallest of abrasions. Injuries can also be internal, so pay attention to if your breathing has changed or if you have pain anywhere that doesn't show physical sign of injury.
3. Get the other driver's information. Make note of the make and model of the other driver's vehicle, the color of the vehicle, VIN number, and license plate number. If you're both able to move and communicate, get a picture of his or her driver's license and insurance information.
4. Talk to witnesses. If anyone is standing around and willing to talk, take their statements. If you can record it via an app on your cell phone along with their name, phone number, and email address (if they have one), that would be excellent for your case.
5. Take note of your surroundings. Write down things like what time it is, your exact location, and what you remember happening.
6. Gather visual evidence. Take pictures of the scene, including damages, injuries, and the other person's vehicle.
7. File a claim. Get your accident on record right away. Be very careful about signing any documents. Pay attention to your gut instinct. If anything feels off or if you feel like you're being pressured by the insurance company to make certain moves, don't hesitate to give my office a call.
8. Go see your doctor. Even if you think you're absolutely fine, it is always a good idea to go see your doctor just to be safe. The sooner the better.