Road accidents happen all the time, and it’s not something that you anticipate. When you are involved in an accident, you will be shocked and angry at the person who caused the accident, but this is not the time to point fingers at anyone. The first rule is to remain calm and park your car on the side of the road. Never flee the scene of the accident, but instead, wait for the law enforcers to arrive. The following tips will enable you to handle the aftermath of the accident.
Ensure That Everyone Is Safe
Safety comes first; check whether anyone has been injured, and if someone is hurt, call an ambulance. If the person is badly hurt, look for means to rush them to the nearest medical facility. If everyone is okay, call the police, your loved ones, and a lawyer. Besides, turn on the hazard lights, place flares, or the warning triangle on the side of the road, and notify other road users.
Call the Relevant Authorities
Now that you have established that everyone is safe, notify the police and your attorney about the incident. The party that caused the accident might try and convince you not to call the police. Ignore their plea since you must inform the law enforcers who will establish the liable party. Besides, the other person might try and extort money from you; the police will protect you from such fraudsters. The police will also help you create an official report necessary for making a claim with the insurance guys.
Other than the police, you should call your attorney. You are probably angry at this time; hence you can’t make the right judgment. Even if you caused the accident, a good lawyer would do whatever they can to deny the claim or ensure that you pay as little as possible. It would help if you never accepted liability when you are involved in an accident, but instead, let the relevant bodies establish the liable party. Dealing with insurance companies can be hectic, a good lawyer will review your case, help with your claim, and negotiate directly with insurance guys on your behalf. Besides, you are traumatized at the moment, and a lawyer who doesn’t charge fees until the case is solved will be the right guy for you.
Gather Important Information
There are essential details that you should collect after the accident to cover the costs of repair and medical bills. Note down the other person’s insurance details, their policy number, name, address and personal contact details, the plate, and driver license numbers. Such information will help smoothen the insurance claim process, and they will help your lawyer when building the case. Should the other party decide to flee the scene, you will have all the information to make your case; hence you can receive your rightful compensation. It’s also important to take note of accident details. Write down the time and location of the accident. If possible, sketch how you believe the accident occurred and take note of the other car’s description. Also, write down the number of people who were involved in the accident; passengers included.
Document the Scene
Law enforcers might delay; therefore, it’s your responsibility to document the scene as a precautionary measure to prove the accident wasn’t your fault. If you have a cell phone, take videos or photos of the license plates, the damage done to both cars, injuries, skid marks, the weather, and the accident scene.
Collect Eyewitness Details
Eyewitnesses will collaborate your story, therefore, collect their contact information before they leave. Law enforcers might, later on, use their confession to determine the liable party.
Contact the Insurance Company
Before you call the insurance guys, ensure that you have reviewed your policy, and you know what it covers. If you caused the accident, it would be smart to give your narrative to the insurance company before the other party files a claim. You will have an advantage since such a move could reduce the accident claim.
If the other driver caused the accident, call your insurance and file a claim. Let the insurance company apply on your behalf to avoid complications that might arise. You should also know that the liable party’s insurance company will attempt to offer you the least compensation. Let the insurance company fight on your behalf, or, better yet, leave all legal matters to your attorney.
Your responsibility in a car accident is to gather information about the accident and ensure that everyone is safe. You should never lay blame on others or admit fault, but instead, leave all the legal matters to the relevant authorities. It would also help if you never accepted a quick compensation from the other party since the future is uncertain, and things can escalate.