The best thing to do with a car crash is not to have one in the first place. Auto accidents are unfortunate and incredibly aggravating to say the least. That said, they are a real part of life for Americans. On average, there are roughly 6,000,000 car accidents every year in the United States. Last year, nearly 34,000 people died from those accidents, and hundreds of thousands more were injured. Every 12 minutes, someone dies from a car accident. Every 14 seconds, someone else is injured in a car accident. Now that you’ve acknowledged that car accidents are, unfortunately, common, the best thing you can do to prepare for one is to know what to do if one does happen.
If you are in a car that is hit by another car, the first thing that you should do is make sure that everyone in your vehicle, including yourself, is okay and unshaken. Then, you should certainly make sure that everyone in the other car is okay.
The second thing that you should do is call the police. Don’t appease the other driver if they suggest that there’s no need to contact the police. A car accident is a big deal that needs to be officially documented and every insurance company involved is going to want a copy of that police report to verify the facts. Then, when the police get to the scene, don’t admit fault, even if you’re trying to be nice. Also, don’t offer any information relating to your lack of injuries—even if you don’t think you’ve sustained any injuries. It has been medically proven that, often times, injuries from a car accident don’t appear until weeks, months, even years after the fact. If the police officer documents that you stated that you are perfectly fine, that bit of information might come back to bite you in the future given the fact that it might look like a contradiction if you do claim a legitimate injury in the future as a result of the accident.
Before you leave the scene of the accident, make sure that you are in possession of the insurance information and contact information for the other driver—these pieces of information will usually be located on the official police report, but make sure that they are before you leave the scene. It is also a good idea to get the contact information for any and all witnesses that may have seen the accident. Furthermore, before you leave the scene, take photos of your damaged vehicle and the other vehicle if you can. Even snapping a quick photo on your cell phone will help substantiate your case. Many times, injuries can occur even if the car sustains no damage, but if there is damage to the car, proving an injury can be easier.
Below are two crucial NO’s to consider in the aftermath of an accident:
Do NOT sign anything relating to the accident without consulting your attorney.
Do NOT talk to the insurance agent for the other driver without the advice and guidance of your attorney.
It is best to immediately inform your auto insurance company about the accident so that they can prepare for anything that might come their way from the other driver. If you’ve been injured, or you’ve had to miss work, or you’ve sustained any other types of damages, you deserve compensation. As such, it is advisable that you contact an attorney like the ones at our firm who can help you navigate the mucky waters that follow a car accident. Only an experienced personal injury attorney can give you expert advice.
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