It happens every day and always at an inconvenient moment. Someone runs a stop sign, a red light, fails to yield, pulls out in front of you, or simply fails to stop behind you and you are in a car accident. What do you do? Who do you call? At the moment of an accident, our bodies and brains are flooded with adrenaline and thinking clearly is not everyone’s forte. Here is a list of exactly what you should do if you find yourself in a vehicular collision.
It doesn’t matter if someone is telling you it’s a minor incident, call for help. When you speak with the 911 operator, you want to ask for police and medical assistance. The police will arrive and take down the report. The report is very important as it protects you from claims of fraud. They also assist in the collection of information from each party, rather than each party relying on each other. Medical assistance also becomes important.
Adrenaline has a way of hiding injuries and you may feel completely okay right after the accident. Later that evening or the next day will be an entirely different story. Have the medical team check you out and follow their advice on if you should go to the hospital or see your family physician over the next few days. Don’t worry about the issue of health insurance, your health is what is most important and measures can be taken to ensure your bill is covered.
Take pictures of the scene and closeups of the damage to your vehicle. This is for two different agencies. One, your insurance company will need them when you file a claim. It helps them determine what their next step will be. Many insurance companies have an app that allows for you to upload the pictures and send them immediately. Use it if you can! Secondly, this is helpful for when you hire a lawyer. It solidifies your legal claims and can validate your story.
Call A Lawyer
Getting a lawyer is a vital step in ensuring that your medical care and any additional costs on your behalf are paid by the faulty party. You should always get a lawyer that specializes in personal injury in the area in which the accident occurred or wherever the case will be heard. For instance, you will want a trucking accident lawyer in New York if you were hit by a trucker in the middle of Manhattan. Many people don’t think to contact a lawyer immediately but here are a few things to consider. They can ensure you are reimbursed for the following expenses:
- Medical care
- Lost wages
- Repairs or replacement of vehicle (should the insurance companies deny your claim)
They also work hard at their own investigation and can advise you if you should settle or move forward with a legal battle. Many also offer free consultations and only take on cases in which they believe they can win. If a lawyer is willing to represent you, you should take them up on it!
Follow Your Doctor’s Orders
After seeing your physician, or going to the emergency room, you should follow up with all medical care. Not only do you want to show the courts that you are doing your due diligence, it’s just good practice to take care of your mental and physical injuries after an accident. Ignoring your doctor’s advice could lead to serious health issues later in life.
It’s a lot to remember. One thing you can do is to create a plan for what to do in an emergency. Perhaps send a text to a family member or friend to let them know where you are and what you have done so far. They can step in and call for a legal team and meet you at the hospital (if you need to go). Having a plan also gives you a sense of security should the unthinkable happen.
Have you or a loved one been in a car accident?
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