Accidents can happen to anyone. Even experienced drivers can get into a car accident. That’s why it is necessary to take preventive measures to avoid car collisions. These include:
- Wearing seat belts
- Following traffic rules and regulations
- Avoiding driving under the influence
If you find yourself in such situations, filing a car accident claim is the best way to obtain compensation for your injuries and damages.
In this article, we have discussed what a victim should do after a car accident. Here are the six steps that you should follow to protect yourself.
Step 1: Stay Calm and Check for Injuries
After a car accident, you should stay calm. By remaining calm, you make it easier to deal with the collision and its consequences. It is crucial to avoid making mistakes that could worsen the situation or harm your claim.
You should check for injuries. If you or anyone else is injured, call 911 immediately. Do not move around when you are injured. You should follow the instructions of the emergency responders and cooperate with them.
Step 2: Shift Your Vehicle to a Safe Place
If possible, move your vehicle to a safe location away from the road. Switch on your hazard lights and use cones or flares to warn other drivers. If your vehicle is not drivable, get out of the car and move to a safe place. You should never leave the accident scene until the police arrive.
Step 3: Report the Accident to the Police
It is important to report the accident to the police. The police will investigate the accident and prepare a report that includes necessary information such as the accident location, time, date, cause, and parties involved in the car crash. This police report can help you prove liability and damages in your claim.
You should share only factual details about the accident with the police. Do not admit fault or apologize for the accident.
Also, you should never exaggerate what happened or how you feel. You should share the facts as you remember them and answer the questions that the police ask you.
Step 4: Exchange Details with the Other Driver
You must exchange information with the other driver involved in a car accident. This information includes:
- Name, phone number, address, and email address
- Vehicle registration number
- Driver’s license number and expiration date
- Insurance company name, policy number, and contact information
- Model, color, make, and license plate number of the vehicle
Moreover, it is important to obtain the names and contact details of any witnesses. Keep in mind that witness testimony plays a major role in supporting your claim.
Step 5: Review the Scene and Document the Accident
You must review the accident scene and document as much evidence as possible. This evidence can help you prove what happened and who was negligent. You should:
- Take photos or videos of the injuries, vehicles, damages, traffic signs, road conditions, etc.
- Write down what happened before, during, and after the car accident.
- Note environmental factors such as lighting, weather, distractions, etc
- Keep a record of any losses or expenses that you incur due to the accident, such as medical expenses, repair costs, lost earnings, etc.
Step 6: File Your Claim
Filing your claim with the faulty driver’s insurance company is the final step. You should do this immediately after the accident. You will need to provide them with all the information and evidence that you collected from the previous steps.
When filing your claim, you should be cooperative and honest. Do not agree to any settlement offer without consulting an attorney. Do not give any statements or sign any documents without reading them carefully.
A car accident is one of the most stressful experiences. By following all six steps above, you can protect yourself and your rights.
Keep in mind that you should seek legal assistance from an experienced attorney if you have any concerns or questions about your claim.