Auto Accident Advice::10 Important Steps to Take If You're the Victim of a Car Accident - Baltimore Post-ExaminerBaltimore Post-Examiner

Auto Accident Advice::10 Important Steps to Take If You’re the Victim of a Car Accident

It pays to the steps to take after a car accident. Read our important tips to make sure your rights are protected and your medical bills are covered now.

In 2015 alone, the United States experienced more than 6.3 million car-related accidents.

These included fatalities, property damage, and other accidents. They led to at least 5,000 pedestrian deaths and 34,000 fatal vehicle crashes.

This high rate of accidents means that anyone can find themselves in a car accident. Thus, it pays to know the steps to take after a car accident.

Read our important tips below to make sure your rights get protected and your medical bills are covered now.

1. Check for Injuries

As a car accident victim, the first thing you should do is check yourself for injuries – whether it’s a small or major accident.

With Americans spending more than a million days each year in hospital from crash injuries, you need to put your safety first.

For a serious accident, try not to move too much as you could make the injuries worse. If you feel stuck in any way, don’t force yourself out of the situation as you may also worsen the injury.

If it’s a minor accident such as a small bump between cars, you don’t need to spend much time checking for injuries. Instead, head over to the subsequent steps.

2. Check for the Safety of Your Passengers

If the car had other people during the accident, ensure you’ve checked for their safety immediately after the incident.

If they can still talk, ask them about their wellbeing. Ask if they feel any pain, if they hit themselves on anything, or if they feel dizzy or nauseated.

3. Call 911

If you can, call for the 911 emergency services and explain the situation to them. If you can’t, let someone else do so on your behalf.

This is an important part of this process as it not only determines the settlement of the case, but also the lives of the victims. In some states, it’s a legal obligation to always inform the police in an accident. Otherwise, you may find yourself on the losing end in a case involving the accident.

Calling the police station entails documenting the accident and the scene. This will help in determining the cause of the accident. If you can’t reach the police on the phone, send or walk into a nearby police station and file the accident report.

Without this report, making accident claims will be difficult with your insurer.

4. Get to Safety

Ensure that you’ve moved to a safe side of the road after the accident. A lot of minor accidents end up being major ones when other road users not initially in the accident get caught up in it.

If possible, move to the side of the road and away from other road users. If the car can still move, pull it off the road. If you’re off the road, leave it the way it is till the police arrive on the scene.

5. Wait for Emergency Services

In both cases above, put the appropriate road signs on the road to notify other road users that there is an incident on the road. If your hazard lights aren’t already on, turn them on. You can use the flares in the emergency car kit to warn other road users of the accident.

It’s advisable to turn off the car engine and move out of the vehicle as you wait for the police.

6. Obtain the Other Driver’s Information

Once you’re sure of your safety and that of the passengers in your car, check out the other car(s) as well. You need to make sure they’re okay. If you find out something unusual such as serious injuries, make sure you’ve notified the police about it.

The law requires that you obtain the personal details of the other driver(s) right away. These details include:

  • Their full names and contact information
  • The color, type, model and other details of the other car(s)
  • Their insurance companies and policy numbers
  • The location of the accident
  • The license plate number and the driver’s license

Write these details and offer yours as well.

7. Don’t Discuss Fault

When obtaining the details of the other drivers, refrain from discussing who’s at fault. Simply take their details and walk away or talk about something else. When filing for insurance claims, the adjuster is the one to determine the driver at fault after inspecting the damage and the details of the accident.

The details given by the police will also contribute to this decision by the adjuster.
Of note is that you should avoid making any apologies when talking about the accident. Apologizing equates to admitting fault in the accident.

8. Document the Rest of the Accident 

After the driver’s details, ensure you get the details of the rest of the accident. These aspects include:

  1. a) The identity of the police officers that handled the case. This includes their names, badge numbers, and any other details of importance.
  2. b) Get a copy of the accident report from the police officers as well.
  3. c) Pictures of the accident from different angles. Ensure to capture the damage done properly as well as the license plates.
  4. d) Lastly, take down the names of the people involved from the drivers, the passengers and any witnesses available to the case.

These details are important when making claims to your insurer.

9. Inform Your Insurer

Inform your insurer through a phone call or even call their agent to the scene of the accident and provide them with the needed details. The Badger Law Firm suggests that you start the claims procedure as soon as possible. This will improve your chances of getting full compensation.

10. Keep to the Advice Given

If you’ve started a treatment routine, ensure you complete it. Complete any other aspects to the case as advised by the police and your insurer.

These steps are to ensure your safety and insurance claims.

Learn More About the Steps to Take After a Car Accident

Knowing the steps to take after a car accident will help you get full compensation and ensure your safety at all times. With lots of accidents occurring each year, these steps are important for all drivers.

Check out our blog for more informative articles.

About the author

I'm a single mother of 2 living in Utah writing about startups, business, marketing, entrepreneurship, and health. I also write for Inc, Score, Manta, and Newsblaze Contact the author.

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