Motor vehicle accidents caused 42,915 fatalities in 2021, 10.5 percent higher than in 2020. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration warns that this is the deadliest year on the roads since 2005.
No one ever expects to be involved in an accident. But if you are, it’s essential to know what to do next. The steps you take in the aftermath of an accident can significantly impact your health, finances, and legal rights.
Call the Police
If you are in an accident, you must call the police. The police will be able to document the scene and help ensure everyone is safe. The authorities can also help to direct traffic and keep things organized.
Even if the accident is minor and there doesn’t seem to be any damage, it’s always best to err on the side of caution. The police will create an official report of the incident, which will be vital if you need to make an insurance claim or file a personal injury lawsuit.
Get Medical Attention
Over 2.2 million people got injured while on the road in 2020. And an estimated 5,215,071 non-fatal accidents happened in the United States in the same year. Even though the injury rate is lower than the previous year, it’s still a significant figure.
This is why the first thing you should do after an accident is to seek medical attention, even if you feel fine. Getting medical attention is essential if you or anyone involved in the accident is injured. Even if the injuries seem minor, it’s always best to be checked out by a medical professional. For instance, internal injuries may not be immediately apparent.
Some injuries, such as whiplash, may not cause pain or other symptoms for hours or even days after the accident. If you wait too long to get medical attention, it may be more challenging to prove that your injuries were caused by the accident.
Additionally, getting prompt medical treatment is vital for your health. If you wait too long to get treatment, your injuries could worsen. Medical professionals can also document the injuries and provide treatment if necessary. Getting prompt medical attention will also be important if you decide to file a personal injury claim later on.
Contact Your Insurance Company
When you’re involved in an accident, you must contact your insurance company as soon as possible. This will help them process your claim and ensure that you’re compensated for any damages. Additionally, your insurance company may not be able to help you with your claim if you don’t contact them right away.
There are a few things you should keep in mind when you’re contacting your insurance company:
- Make sure you have all the details of the accident, including the date, time, and location.
- Be prepared to give an account of what happened. This will help your insurance company determine who was at fault.
- Have the contact information for any witnesses or the other driver involved in the accident.
- Take photos of the accident and damages to your vehicle. This will help support your claim.
By following these tips, you can ensure that your insurance claim is processed smoothly and efficiently.
When you’re involved in an accident, keeping records of everything that happens is essential. This includes taking pictures of the scene, getting contact information from witnesses, and keeping track of all medical expenses related to the accident. If you need to file a claim or lawsuit later on, having this documentation will make the process much easier.
But you should remember to prioritize safety when gathering information about the accident. If you are injured, make sure to get medical attention first. It’s best to move to a safe location before taking pictures or talking to witnesses if the accident is blocking traffic or causing a danger to other drivers.
You should also get a copy of the police report. This document can be used as evidence if you need to file a claim or lawsuit later on. The police report will include information such as the date and time of the accident, the location, and the contact information for all parties involved.
Hire an Attorney
You should hire a personal injury attorney if you’ve been seriously injured or incurred significant property damage due to an accident that was someone else’s fault. An attorney can help you navigate the legal process and ensure that you receive fair compensation for your injuries or damages.
But if anyone in your vehicle dies from the accident, you should contact a reliable wrongful death lawyer. The lawyer will help you file a wrongful death lawsuit against the person responsible for the accident.
Being involved in an accident is never a pleasant experience. But by taking the proper steps afterward, you can minimize the fallout from the incident.