When was the last time you got in a car and were involved in an accident? Although we all pray it never happens, the chances are alarmingly high you’ll be involved in some skirmish throughout your driving career. Each year around 20-50 million people are involved in non-fatal accidents in America.
Although this may seem a lot there are some basic steps you can take if you are involved in a car accident to ensure you get the compensation you deserve and make a swift recovery.
Here’s a list of things to do after an accident.
1. Recover First
Don’t worry about suing anyone or trying to claim money back in the first instance. Instead, mainly focus on recovering. You don’t want to be ill with the stress of the situation.
If you need to get to a medical room get there as soon as you can. Call a family member or friend to take you there or in the worst-case scenario call an ambulance. Cut yourself off from the details of the case for now and ask your family members or friends to take care of it.
Even if your injuries are not serious enough to merit a trip to the hospital, you will still be in shock. Go home to bed and take the next day or a few days off work. Watch your favorite shows on television, read your favorite books, and order in some good food.
Only once you are fully recovered should you worry yourself with the stress of trying to sort out the case.
2. Get The Details of Other Cars
One thing you do need to get hold of is the details of the other cars involved. Most drivers are understanding and will hand over their license number and insurance details so you can proceed with claiming money at the scene of the crash.
Some drivers, however, are inconsiderate. They won’t help you at all and will become aggressive. They might even drive straight off leaving you stranded. This can be annoying but you can always track them down at a later date. If you had a passenger they might remember the license plate. Knowing the make and model of the car could help.
Failing this you may need to get some outside help in tracking down the perpetrator of the accident and collecting information. This is a service worth paying for.
3. Gather Evidence
The next step is to gather some evidence about the events of the accident. Consider placing an advert in a local newspaper to search for witnesses or other third party cars that may have had a minor involvement.
Also, consider using Facebook. Search on local groups related to your area. Before you post do a search using control+F to see if anyone else has already posted about your incident.
If you are struggling to find the driver and the car this could also be a good place to start.
Was there any CCTV of the accident in question? If it took place outside a restaurant perhaps you could approach them and ask them if they could share it. Many establishments might refuse to do this as they would be concerned about privacy violations but it is worth asking in the first instance.
There might also be CCTV on the highway or freeway that is owned by the state or local government. Getting hold of this might prove tricky but is well worth pursuing as it could be instrumental to your case.
4. Call the Police
Nobody likes getting the police involved in anything but if the accident is serious you might not have a choice in the matter. Be sure to follow all the instructions of the officers on duty and try to avoid a confrontation. Ask appropriate questions.
Some cases – even minor ones – require you to file a police report for you to be eligible for insurance payouts and court settlements. Don’t forget to do this as it can be important to your case.
Always take a copy of the police report and to note down the officer you spoke to and the time and day you made the report for future reference.
5. Hire a Good Lawyer
If doing all of this on your own seems daunting, then don’t worry. You don’t have to go through an auto accident on your own. You can hire a good lawyer to help you through the process and represent you.
Book a consultation with them and remember to consider some questions to ask a car accident lawyer in advance so you have something to talk about.
Be sure that you can trust the lawyer that you are dealing with. You don’t want to enter into an agreement with them and then find yourself feeling angry further down the line because they have reneged on it or it wasn’t what you agreed upon.
Another key crucial question to ask is whether it’s a no-win-no-fee case; you don’t want to have to fork out money upfront.
Remember going to court is not as stressful as it once was and will soon become easier as courts do more of their business online and use AI.
Been in a Car Accident? Rest Up and Get a Good Lawyer
If you’ve been in a car accident that wasn’t your fault, then you first need to recover and forget about the stress of the case.
Then when you are fully recovered be sure to hire a good lawyer who can argue your case for you.
If you are interested in learning more about a car accident be sure to check out the rest of our site.