Millions of car accidents occur every year in the United States, and a good number of them lead to personal injuries to the driver and their passengers. Sometimes, these car accidents lead to fatal injuries while others lead to property damage where the driver and the passengers do not get hurt.
However, you need to be careful about what you do immediately after a car accident. A simple mistake might limit your right to compensation or shift the liability of the accident to you.
In case you are involved in an accident, here is a detailed list of things you ought to do to protect yourself, which include finding a car accident attorney.
1. Check Yourself and Other Passengers for Injuries
You need to check if you have sustained any injuries from the collision. If you have, call 911 for an ambulance or ask someone around to call an ambulance for you. If the injuries are too severe, do not move; wait for medical help to arrive at the scene.
2. Get To Safety
If you can move, exit the car immediately. Turn on the emergency flashers before exiting the car to notify other drivers. Do not leave the scene of the accident until law enforcement allows you. If you leave the scene of the accident before the police arrive for any other reasons other than medical, you will be arrested and charged with a hit and run.
3. Collect Evidence
You should collect enough information about what transpired and submit it to your insurance company and your lawyer. Take pictures of the scene of the accident and collect the information of the police officer present. If there are witnesses around, ask for their contacts, they could be useful later.
4. Exchange Information and Notify Your Insurer
You should exchange contacts and insurance information with all the drivers involved in the accident before leaving the scene. Make sure you get valid contact information from the other drivers in case they do not have insurance.
Also, remember to avoid accepting liability or apologizing for the accident. Call your insurer and report the accident immediately and share with them all the details of the accident.
5. Contact a Lawyer
It is important that you contact a lawyer regardless of the severity of the accident. You need to be ready to defend yourself in court if the other driver decides to sue you.
A lawyer will also ensure that all your rights and interests are well-protected. For example, if the insurance company wants to pay for the damages but the amount does not cover all the damages, your lawyer can help you negotiate a higher amount.
Contact an Experienced Car Accident Lawyer After an Accident
A car accident can have long-lasting effects; hence, you need to be careful with the steps you take after the accident has happened.
Choose a lawyer who has experience handling car accident cases and has a long list of successful car accident cases. Even if you do not want compensation for the accident, you may still need a lawyer to protect you in case the other driver decides to seek compensation from you.
Follow the steps listed above, and you should be prepared for what comes next depending on the circumstances of the accident.