Being involved in a car accident can ruin your day to say the least. It can be harmful and devastating to you or someone else at worst, and stressful at best. It can also cost you lots of money or cause your insurance to go up, and that’s assuming you don’t have any medical bills from the crash.
It’s a good idea to have an attorney for this sort of thing. You might not think you need one, but if you get in a car accident in Colorado today and don’t have the proper legal reinforcements, you could find yourself out of luck and in a load of trouble.
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration estimates that 42,915 people died in motor vehicle crashes in 2021, a 10.5 percent increase from 2020. Thousands more motor vehicle crashes that didn’t result in fatalities still occurred as well, which didn’t result in death but could have resulted in injuries, fines, property damage, and more.
Make sure you know what to do in the event this happens to you. Keep reading to learn about what to do after a car accident. Below are five steps to take directly after being involved in a car accident.
The most important thing to consider after a car accident is to ensure everyone involved in the accident is safe and unharmed. Depending on the crash, minor to major injuries could require an ambulance or medical attention. Pull over to safety, moving out of the road (if your car can still drive) to ensure no other cars wreck into you or others.
Move slowly out of your vehicle, as some injuries can’t be felt right away. Once you know you are unharmed, check on others involved in the crash.
Not only is this the responsible thing to do, but it is also required by law. This will allow for an ambulance to be sent directly to the crash site. Even if you feel you are unharmed, it’s important to get checked out anyway. Police will also be sent to the crash site to fill out an official report. This is a method of getting an objective account of what happened in the crash.
This is also a way to ensure both drivers have vehicle insurance, which will hold both parties accountable for the incident. Depending on the nature of the crash, including fault, if substance abuse was involved, or if weather was a factor, the report will be written differently.
When waiting for the police or other medical attention to arrive, use this time to exchange basic information with other drivers involved in the crash. It’s generally standard procedure to exchange basic contact information (like a cell phone number) and your insurance information.
This holds all drivers accountable and allows their respective insurance companies to access the situation and make the right steps to resolve it financially. Don’t accept cash payments from other drivers, or admit fault to the incident. Allow law enforcement to do their due process and decide that themselves. Contact your insurance company and/or car accident attorney.
Taking pictures is an important task after you’ve completed the above steps. This can help paint a picture of what happened in the crash and could help your case in your insurance claim or if the other driver was at fault for your vehicle damage.
Try and gather as much evidence as you can about what happened in the accident, including photographs, notes, or anything else you feel the need to document. Take photos of the vehicles, if there’s any additional property damage around the area, as well as the surrounding area for tire marks or other evidence. If there are eyewitnesses to the crash, ask them what they saw and direct their testimony to the police as they make their reports.
It never hurts to have some legal reinforcement in situations like car accidents. Car accident attorneys can help you navigate the legal process that comes with potentially costly motor vehicle crashes. They can also walk you through what to say to the police and to other drivers involved. With their years of experience, they can assess your specific case and help you determine the next course of action. If you need to sue someone, they can help. If you’re being sued, they can help as well.
While most people don’t feel the need for a specific car accident attorney, having one in a time of need can drastically improve your situation. They can save you money, help you through legal battles, or help to settle a case where both parties are at fault.
Car accidents can be some of the most stressful and dangerous events of your life. Even if you walk away unscathed, you can be hit with massive financial expenses and legal troubles. Having an attorney in your back pocket can help with damage control after a devastating car accident.
Your life doesn’t need to be ruined because of a fender bender or a more serious car accident. Making sure you’re safe is the most important thing. After that, be sure you have legal assistance. To recap, be sure to do the following steps directly after a car accident:
- Make sure everyone involved is safe and unharmed
- Call 911
- Exchange information with necessary parties
- Gather evidence for yourself and law enforcement, as well as your lawyer
- Seek legal help
Following this guide will help to limit your stress in an already stressful situation. Nobody wants to find themselves in a car accident, but in the event it happens, it’s best to be as prepared as possible.
Drivers are required to carry proof of insurance at all times behind the wheel, so don’t forget that as well. For extra security, make sure you have a car accident attorney at the ready, it will make the process much easier for you.