Being Involved in a Car Accident: 5 Immediate Steps to Follow

No matter how long you’ve been driving, being involved in a car accident, no matter how minor, is a jarring experience that can leave you reluctant to get behind the wheel again. However, with car crashes so common globally that they are responsible for 3% of a country’s gross domestic product, on average, it’s clear that sometimes there’s no avoiding an accident. Given this, learning the crucial steps to follow immediately after an accident can help any driver involved in this distressing situation.

Aggressive senior male driver arguing over blame for car accident with a younger male motorist

5 Steps to Follow After Being Involved in a Car Accident

As mentioned, going through a car accident is a troubling experience for any individual, no matter how experienced of a driver you are. While contacting an accredited car accident lawyer following the incident should certainly be on your to-do list, there are five immediate steps you should take when the accident occurs:

Inspect yourself and others for injuries

First, the immediate aftermath of an accident will be confusing and jarring but avoid making any sudden movements. Start by checking yourself for any injuries, moving as slowly as possible just in case there is some sort of damage you don’t see right away. Assuming you’re alright, check on the other passengers of the vehicle, followed by the passengers of the other vehicle, to see if medical assistance is needed right away.

Exchange information with the other driver and take pictures

After double checking that nobody has been seriously injured by the accident, politely request the insurance information of the other driver, along with their contact information and driver’s license for good measure.

Get all vehicles out of the road if possible

Assuming the vehicles all parties were driving are still operational, try to get them out of the road as soon as possible so that oncoming traffic doesn’t get thrown off by your vehicle in the middle of the road. However, keep your vehicles near the scene of the accident as you don’t want anyone to claim you tried to leave the scene.

Contact the authorities to let them know what happened

Even if there were no injuries, it’s a good idea to call the police and inform them that an accident just occurred. They may or may not send officers, but at the very least they will know that a wreck occurred, and they will likely send out a unit to clean the scene of debris so other drivers don’t get impacted.

Visit your doctor as soon as possible

Finally, even if you are convinced that you don’t have a scratch on you from the accident, you should visit your doctor as soon as possible after the accident to see if there were any internal injuries.

Common Causes for a Car Accident

Now that the primary steps to take following a car accident have been covered, it’s important to look at the common causes for a car accident so that you as a driver can avoid the situation. Keep in mind the following commonly seen causes:

  • Poor weather in areas that tend to receive good weather
  • Driving on nights with extremely low visibility in the road
  • Distracted or reckless driving
  • Speeding
  • Fatigue
  • Aggressive driving
  • Drunk driving

While you can’t control the actions of other drivers, your own driving is well within your control. To that end, never drive when you are feeling overly tired or are under the influence of any drugs. It’s also best to avoid driving if there is poor weather that you have limited experience driving in.

Tips for Avoiding Future Accidents

The only thing better than responding quickly after a car accident is avoiding the accident. As outlined by the Center for Disease Control and Prevention, some of the most prominent tips for avoiding a car crash in its entirety include:

  • Remove any distractions from your vehicle prior to getting on the road
  • Avoid driving in any vehicles that seem to be too top-heavy
  • Always wear a seat belt on your trip
  • Never drive under the influence of anything
  • Always wear a helmet if riding a motorcycle
  • Obey speed limits at all times

Legal Options After a Crash: Is a Personal Injury Lawsuit Right for You?

Despite all of this, a car accident may be inevitable due to another driver’s actions. If this is the case, you may have a personal injury lawsuit in your hands. This occurs when one party who was injured in an incident as a direct result of another party, specifically when that party acted with negligence, sues the seemingly responsible party for financial compensation. This compensation can be used for medical expenses, lost wages, and more.

How to win a personal injury lawsuit?

To win a personal injury lawsuit, a person will need to prove that the party they deem responsible for the injury had a duty to protect them and then breached that duty which caused the injuries. As an example, as a driver you have a duty to protect others on the road, so if you knowingly ran a red light trying to catch it and slammed into the side of someone who had the right of way, you could be held liable for their injuries.

How much compensation can a personal injury lawsuit provide?

The compensation a person can receive from a personal injury case will vary depending on the details of the case, and how at-fault the responsible party is deemed. For example, if the accident is decided to be 70% their fault, they could be ordered to pay for 70% of the damages.

Keep yourself protected legally

While being in a car accident is a confusing, frustrating, and all-around annoying situation, try to remain calm when the accident occurs to prevent escalation. Regardless of who was at fault during the accident, use the above steps to handle the situation as smoothly as possible. Should injuries have occurred, and you believe they were caused by the other driver’s actions, pursuing legal options may be in your best interest. Don’t hesitate to reach out to an attorney if you think this applies to you.

Leave a Comment