There are about 6 million accidents each year. Since they are so common, learning what to do after a car accident is a matter of survival.
Learning these tips will keep you safe and will help you also move forward with a legal case, if necessary. You will have a headstart on treating any injuries and getting your car fixed or replaced.
What plan of action should you take? We’re glad you asked.
Here are the steps to take after a car accident.
1. Look After Your Safety Before Anything Else
You’re risking your health and safety anytime you decide to use a motor vehicle. So after crashing with another vehicle, you will want to take a full account of your health, and get out of harm’s way as quickly as possible.
Put your hazard lights on and only exit the vehicle when you know you are not near any oncoming traffic. If your vehicle can still move, park it as far out of the way of traffic as possible.
Familiarize yourself with where you are, and look take all necessary steps to protect yourself.
2. Speak to the Other Driver to Exchange Information
Take the time to speak to the other driver. Find out if they’re OK and whether they need medical care. While talking to them, keep your emotions in check, even if they were driving recklessly.
Exchange contact information with them so that you can stay in touch for the next steps of the insurance and legal process. Take down their license plate number and get their insurance information as well. Don’t admit any fault in the accident, or make any statements that can be portrayed as admissions of guilt or even apology.
3. Get the Police Involved to Clear the Scene
You’ll have to get the police involved to report the accident. They will send officers out to your location as quickly as possible to clear the scene.
The officer can also act as an intermediary between you and the other driver. It’s during this time that they’ll also interview both of you separately to create a police report, which will be crucial to your legal case or insurance claim.
4. Seek Medical Care if Necessary, and Get a Full Report
Most importantly, you have to get medical care if you require it. Vehicle wrecks cause all sorts of injuries that aren’t always immediately simple to diagnose.
About 31 million people have chronic back pain. Car accidents are common reasons that so many people hurt their backs each year. Many people suffer minor to severe neck trauma following a wreck. Whiplash is quite common.
You may also have broken bones, muscle tears, or brain injuries following an accident.
If you go to the emergency room or physician, make sure that you get a full report of any injuries that they can immediately diagnose. You’ll likely want to follow up with another physician within a week, since pain tends to set in days later once the adrenaline wears off.
Get medical care so that you can start healing, while also coming up with a price tag for how much your case is worth.
5. Notify Your Insurance Company and the Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV)
Your insurance company will need to know that you’ve been involved in a wreck. They will run an evaluation of the case, and can also get your damages appraised by an adjuster.
Getting this damage appraisal will be another valuable part of the process. They’ll send your vehicle to an affiliated repair shop so that you can also get work done on it if it’s not a total loss.
Fill out an accident report form with your state’s Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) as well, to get the accident on the record, and to let them know your automobile is currently out of commission.
6. Start Calling Some Lawyers That Handle Car Accident Cases
Get the help of some personal injury lawyers that can help you out with your case. They will offer you the professional legal help you need to win your case and get paid.
Attorneys are also helpful because they take the mystery out of the process, let you know how much you’re entitled to, and what strategies will help get the job done. Make sure that you also consider lawyers that are great at negotiation, in order to help with settlements.
7. Go Over the Details of Your Accident and Be Mindful of All Court Dates and the Statute of Limitations
Once the dust has settled, make sure that you go over all the details of your car accident. When you are clear on the facts and details, you’ll be better able to get the results that you’re looking for.
Work with your lawyer to get court hearings on the docket. Stay up to date with these hearings, and work with your attorney to prepare for depositions and testimonies. You have to also understand the statute of limitations and how it affects your car accident case. Filing the case ahead of the statute of limitations keeps your claim legally valid.
Understand the Steps to Take After a Car Accident
When you know the steps to take after a car accident, you’ll always be taken care of in these situations. Since vehicle wrecks are so common, you have to take care of yourself by following the necessary tips.
Los Angeles Legal Solutions will happily help you with any questions you have or services you need. Take time to contact us using your website messaging system, or give us a call at (818)-510-0555.