6 Things You Should Do After Your First Car Accident
The U.S. Department of Transportation’s Fatality Analysis Reporting System (FARS) reported that Oklahoma had a total of 655 fatal car crashes in 2018. Often, you’ll never anticipate a car accident, especially when you’re confident in your driving experience and adherence to road use. Yet, a car crash, which is not necessarily your fault, can occur any time.
If you get in a car accident, you might fret and forget to take measures to protect your rights. Drivers must know the steps to take after the first car accident. Check out this guide to know what to do after a car crash.
After a road accident, you need to stop, whether or not your car has sustained any damages. Some drivers might feel that an accident is minor, and there’s no point in waiting for the long process involving the authorities. Driving away is the gravest mistake one can make after a road accident.
You might need to confirm the state of the occupants in the other car. If the minor car crash hasn’t caused any injuries, exchange contact with the other party and get their insurance information. It is also advisable to get the contact information of the witnesses.
Ensure that you protect the scene to avert more accidents. Keep the flashers on or use flares. At night, ensure that your lights are on to maintain your safety.
2. Check for Injuries
You need to call 911 if you are injured in a car accident. If you have serious injuries, you need to wait for emergency personnel. Despite not having notable physical injuries, you’ll need to call 911 as you might be having internal injuries that are equally life-threatening.
It is also prudent to check the occupants in your car and the other vehicle to know if they have sustained injuries that need an emergency response. Medical assistance for all the parties involved should be a priority.
Amongst the first three people to seek after a car accident is a doctor. It would help to consult with a physician who deals with trauma injuries. The right doctor will ensure that you get relevant documentation for any damages, which is paramount if you file a lawsuit.
3. Call the Police
The authorities should be central to your first car accident. Police officers usually fill a report based on the findings at the accident scene. You need to give accurate details of the accident for a comprehensive completion of the report.
Request for a copy of the report to assist you in case you landed in court. The record will be one of the main proofs that will get you the compensation that you rightfully deserve. Avoid the temptation of settling the issue with the other party without involving the police.
In situations where the police fail to come to the accident scene, visit the nearest police station to complete the report. Your insurer will need a copy of the report if you file a claim. As such, this is a step you don’t want to miss after an automobile injury.
4. Gather All Evidence
You need to collect all information relating to the accident. Unless you’ve sustained severe injuries, gather as much evidence as possible to assist when filing a claim. Taking pictures and videos is the best way to record the damage caused by accidents.
It could also help to note down the names and contacts of involved parties. Talk to witnesses and write their names and contact information. You might need to present the details if you ever find yourself in court.
The number of insurance claims in the U.S. is high, with more than 6 million crashes every year. Insurance companies will require sufficient evidence to show that you were not at-fault before compensating.
5. Notify Your Insurance Provider Right Away
If you get in your first car accident, you might be confused about who to call first. In your list of priorities, your insurance provider should have a high rank. It is vital to call the insurance company while you’re at the accident scene.
The insurance provider will guide you on the steps you ought to take to file a claim. You will also receive caution on things to avoid, such as apologizing to the other party, which will be translated as admitting you are at-fault. Your insurance company will further tell you the steps you need to take if you have medical benefits in your coverage.
While you might be in a financial crunch, don’t accept quick settlements. Know your rights and follow the right process of filing a claim.
6. Hire an Attorney
With the notable importance of a car accident lawyer, it would be unfortunate not to hire one. If you’re in Oklahoma City, you can get a reliable personal injury attorney. The lawyer will guide you on the steps you need to take and what to expect.
More importantly, an experienced attorney will negotiate for your compensation with the insurance provider. The lawyer will further represent you if the case proceeds to court. With a personal injury lawyer, you don’t have to worry about the legal fees as the attorney often works based on contingency fees.
You Need to Protect Your Rights After a First Car Accident
Unfortunately, most drivers don’t know what steps to take after a car crash. The situation leads to cases of rejected insurance claims. You need to follow several steps after a first car accident for you to get the rightful compensation.
Hiring a lawyer for your car accident case is essential. It would be advisable to get a lawyer to assist you with the complex nature of car accidents through filing a claim. A reliable attorney will allow you to rest easy as you nurse any injuries you sustained.
Do you need a car accident lawyer? Contact us today to get the best attorney in Oklahoma City. For immediate assistance call us at 405-253-4478.