What To Do After Experiencing An Auto Accident
Car accidents are an extremely common occurrence in the United States. According to the Bureau of Transportation Statistics, approximately 13 accidents occur somewhere in the country every 60 seconds. That means that every year, around 6.75 million accidents occur. Luckily, most collisions result in property damage. However, one in three accidents involves personal injury to the driver or passengers, and out of that number, two out of every ten accidents lead to fatal injuries.
Auto Accident – Coeur D’alene
If you happen to be involved in an auto accident, it’s important to know what to do to protect yourself and your interests. Not knowing what to do after an accident can cause serious issues for you. The following is a list of the steps our professionals at Beck Law have suggested that you should take if you are in an automobile accident:
Whether you have caused the accident or not, never drive away from the scene. No matter how minor the crash may be, stopping will allow you to get the help you need and do the following steps. While you are stopped, be sure to turn on your hazards if your lights still work to ensure that others can see you.
Call The Police
If the accident caused a death or injury, you must call the police. Though you are not required to call the police without an injury, insurance companies and personal injury attorneys always recommend you do so to protect yourself. Personal injury or car damages can lead to impending lawsuits, so calling the police ensures a fair and balanced report of the cause of the accident that attorneys can use as a reference later. Moreover, when reporting damages to your insurance company, a police report can give a clear picture of how the accident happened and how much you were actually at fault.
Make Accurate Records
To ensure that police records are as accurate as possible, tell them exactly what happened to the best of your ability. If there are certain aspects that you do not know or are unsure about, let the officer know. Do not speculate or guess. If you are unsure if you are injured, tell the officer that you are unsure, rather than no. Often injuries or pain don’t appear until hours or days later. Be sure that anyone else making a statement stick to the truth as well.
If you can, take lots of pictures of the accident if there is visible damage. Even if there are visible injuries to yourself, be sure to take pictures. Ensure that you are not interfering with a police investigation to take pictures. If you are not allowed to take them to the scene, take them as soon as possible after the accident.
Typically, investigating officers will obtain information from everyone involved in the accident. However, if an officer does not respond, you will need to get contact information from both the driver and any passengers. You will also need to exchange insurance information.
Report The Accident
The accident must be reported to your insurance company as soon as possible. Many policies require that you do so with full cooperation. Moreover, there are many benefits that you will need to take advantage of after the accident if they are available to you. Find out if you have medical benefits, as well as damage coverage on your car. The sooner you report the incident, the better.
Seek Medical Attention
Injuries caused by auto collisions aren’t always immediately apparent. Unless you are certain that you are not injured, seeking medical attention at a local emergency room or family physician is important. Even small impacts can cause spinal issues or head injuries that can affect you for the rest of your life.
Protect Your Rights
Potentially the most important thing that you can do after an accident is to reach out to an attorney. They can protect your rights and ensure that no valuable information is lost. Often, insurance companies want to take statements immediately after an accident. You must receive legal advice before providing such a statement. Your attorney can advise you on issues ranging from how to make sure you are fully compensated for your vehicle to how to make sure you are getting the best medical treatment available. If you need an attorney after you have experienced an auto accident, be sure to contact Beck Law to protect your rights and see justice through.