The U.S. highways witness over six million accidents every year. A large percentage of these accidents involve only property damage. One out of every three road accidents involves physical injury to the occupants, and two out of every ten lead to fatalities.
Immediately following a car accident, it is natural for the involved individuals to be confused, shaken, and disoriented. However, regardless of whether you are injured in a car crash or not, there are certain things you need to do in the aftermath of the accident. Mentioned below is a list of things to do if you are ever involved in an accident.
Don’t Leave the Scene: First and foremost, never even think of driving away from the accident scene, even if it is a minor accident.
Prevent Further Damage: Immediately after the accident, you can prevent further accidents by keeping your flashers on or setting up flares. At night, if your lights have stopped working, use a flashlight to remain safe while waiting for assistance.
Call the Police: Regardless of whether the accident involves any serious injuries or not, call the police and seek help. This step is extremely important because most insurance providers do not cover accidents without a valid police accident report. Inform the police if you feel that anyone involved in the accident is under the influence of alcohol or drugs.
Get Medical Help: If you have been seriously injured in the accident, the police will ensure that adequate medical care is provided to you. Even if your injury doesn’t appear to be serious, do not ignore it. Many car crash related injuries may take up to 24-36 hours to show up. Therefore, if you notice any unfamiliar symptoms, report these immediately to your doctor. Receiving medical care after the accident is also important because your insurance company will require evidence to understand that you were genuinely injured because of the crash.
Ask Questions: Insurance companies generally ask for all possible details related to all involved parties including pedestrians, passengers, drivers, and witnesses. Once everyone is safe at the accident scene, try gathering the following information:
- Information related to the other vehicle such as make, model, and license plate number
- Insurance status of all individuals and vehicles involved in the accident
- Collect the name, address, and contact details of the owner, if the driver is not the owner of the other vehicle.
- Find out if anyone has already accepted the blame for the crash
- Collect the badge numbers and names of the police officers in the accident spot.
Collect Evidence: Most of us have camera enabled mobile phones these days. Make use of this camera to take as many photos of the accident site as you can. Focus on damage done to the vehicles and people involved in the accident, license plates, skid marks, faulty street lights, weather conditions, malfunctioning equipment, etc.
Consider Insurance: Report the accident to your insurance company as early as possible. Most insurance providers require immediate reporting. If you have MedPay coverage, submit all medical bills related to your accident to the insurance company. Please remember that MedPay is your primary coverage for the accident related bills. However, your private health insurance will become the primary coverage, if the MedPay benefits are exhausted. Apart from you, MedPay benefits are also available for other occupants of the vehicle.
Protect Your Rights: It is a well known fact that insurance companies are extremely reluctant to provide legitimate compensation to accident victims. Therefore, in order to protect your rights, it is important to have professional legal support. An experienced car accident attorney can take care of all complex legal issues and ensure that your right to compensation is not breached.