Anyone who has suffered an accident will tell you how devastating the situation is. It’s among the stressful ordeals you can encounter in life, especially if the accident is catastrophic. Even when the damages aren’t significant, you will still experience shock, anxiety, loss of time, and ruin a better part of your life dealing with the after situation. How you react to an accident greatly determines its outcome and the repercussions after that. You need to follow specific steps to reduce damages, stress and increase your chances of winning the compensation case. Here are the crucial things you need to do.
1. Stop and Call the police
After suffering an accident, the first thing you need to do is stop, put your car into safety, and call the police. This is regardless of whether the accident is a minor one, which has no casualties. Why should you call the police? In line with this car accident lawyer in Johnson City, calling the police makes you a law-abiding citizen. First, it allows the police to come and write down the accident report and also enables them to clear the accident scene. The police report in an accident is essential as it helps to identify the person at fault, and it’s required during a compensation case. Failing to stop after an accident is a crime and will not get you the report, diminishing your chances of getting compensation. When the police can’t come, law experts recommend getting to the police station, report and get the document.
2. Call an Ambulance and get medical attention
Sometimes, in dire situations, the police might arrive with an ambulance. However, this doesn’t occur much often, and you need to call emergency services, especially when there are serious injuries. It would be best if you did this after ascertaining the number of injured people and their condition. If the situation isn’t as bad, you can rush to the hospital after the police have cleared the accident. The emergency medical team will offer first aid and may pick the injured personnel to the hospital. What if there are no or fewer injuries? While the emergency medical personnel might not come due to fewer or no injuries, you still need to visit the hospital for a checkup. A medical examination will determine whether you are okay to continue with your journey.
3. Gather evidence and get witnesses
If you are looking forward to compensation, you need to take details of the accident scene and get the witnesses’ accounts of the accident. It is paramount doing this even when you aren’t sure of who is at fault. Through your smartphone, you can take pictures of the accident scene, the road itself, injuries, and the damages to both vehicles and others if there are multiple collisions. Ensure you record every detail that may bring interest when asking for compensation. When it comes to witnesses, you need to record their narration and get their contacts to follow up. Why take this evidence? Your lawyer, the insurance company at fault, and the courts will need this evidence for compensation. You also need to get a copy of the police report concerning the accident and its findings. All this should be done before the accident scene is cleared.
4. Exchange Information
It is essential exchanging information with the driver at fault during an accident. It would be best to do this as soon as possible before the other driver goes their way. Through this information, you will understand whether the driver has a genuine license and insurance cover for their vehicle. This situation also enables you to judge the driver better and note down the state during the accident, including driving under the influence. You will need to see and verify their driver’s license, insurance card, vehicle plates, and personal details, including their identity information and contact details. You can also capture their photos. Ensure you hand this information to your attorney.
5. Contact your attorney
During an accident, even when at fault, you shouldn’t admit liability. The best thing you can do is contact the police, gather evidence, get medical attention and call your attorney. Why call the attorney during an accident? Your attorney will help you gather more evidence, get you a police report, and help you file for compensation from the insurance company at fault. Your lawyer will protect your legal rights and ensure justice is done, even when at fault. Not getting yourself a lawyer might land you in trouble. The other party will have a defense lawyer who will ensure they win the case. It would be best to get your lawyer to have a strong case against your opponent.
The above are simple but crucial steps you need to take in case of an accident. Failing to follow these steps as required might limit your chances of getting justice or compensation for the injuries and damages you suffered.