Things to Do at the Scene of the Accident
Getting in a car crash can be an emotionally jolting experience. But, it’s important to act logically. Here’s what you need to do at the scene of an accident.
Every year the price paid by auto accidents goes up. Not only the massive loss of life (over 40,000 in the U.S.) but even the financial loss, costing over $230 billion each year.
Not all accidents can be prevented, but it is a good idea to seek some auto accident prevention tips. If you do ever find yourself in an accident, it’s important to be as prepared, calm and collected as possible.
To help, we’ve put together a list of the top 7 most important things that you should try to do at the scene of the accident.
Take a deep breath, collect your thoughts, and then remember that you’re going to get through this. Just cover these basic steps for you and others’ safety. Contact us today for a free San Diego Personal Injury Attorney consultation.
1. Relocate to a Safer Location
If you end up in the common “fender bender” or any accident with non-serious injuries, try to focus on making sure you are aware of your surroundings. The last thing you want to do is to jump out of your car and risk causing another accident with surrounding traffic.
If your car is operable, try to pull it to the shoulder or off the road altogether. If it isn’t moving, then be sure to turn your hazard lights on to assist oncoming traffic. Next, you can start moving towards the other vehicle(s) involved.
2. Approach Other Driver, Witnesses
Once you’re okay, go check on all other parties present at the scene of the accident. Assess the situation and call 911 if you think anyone could be hurt or showing signs of underlying injuries.
Don’t ignore symptoms like dizziness, slurred speech, or minor neck/back pains. There is no telling if a fracture or concussion could have occurred.
Most of all, don’t approach anyone in an aggressive or combative manner. Even if you are 100% correct and had no responsibility for the accident. Being angry only creates an unsafe environment. You might even risk the driver fleeing the scene of the accident without any info.
3. Call the Police ASAP
No matter how small the accident may appear, you are going to want to have a law enforcement officer there to: a) mediate, b) provide an unbiased statement or c) both.
Avoid accidentally incriminating when giving your statements. Be factual and let the officer do their job with investigating the scene. If no police can come or if nobody calls at the scene, you can file an accident report at the DMV.
It’s important that the accident gets recorded into the state’s records and helps legitimize your side as well.
4. Gathering Information
The police will greatly help move the discovery and documenting process of the accident, but you can also contribute your own evidence.
Write down as much information as you can get:
- Drivers and passenger info
- License plate numbers
- Insurance cards
- Vehicle details
- Contact info for any eyewitnesses
- Location and circumstances leading to accident
5. Take Lots of Video and Pictures
You can swap with step with any of the previous three steps, depending on how serious the situation is at the scene of the accident. If it appears that the other driver might be showing signs of uncertainty, make sure you record as much as you can.
If everything is relatively fine and they are being cooperative, you can start documenting the scene before things start being moved. Upload your photos and video to cloud storage for added security.
6. See a Doctor Right Away
As mentioned previously, many injuries aren’t apparent or obvious after an accident. In fact, it could take days or weeks before a serious injury is discovered, well after you’ve filed your insurance claim.
Go see a doctor and make sure they know about any tenderness you’re feeling, especially regarding the spine or neck. If you wait too long or downplay these minor injuries, you could end up in worse shape from a hidden hairline fracture or embolism, for example.
7. File your Insurance Claim
Whether you’re the one at fault or not, you can still make an insurance claim and collect any medical bills or damage incurred. You’ll need to file the claim with your carrier to be covered by any collision insurance.
Even if you’re not at fault, you can make a claim with your insurance company for payment of damages and injuries — if you have the right coverage. You’ll end up paying the deductible, but you’ll get it back if you are able to reach a settlement with the guilty party’s insurance.
Any competent car accident lawyer will be able to help you recover your expenses as the victim of an accident.
In the case of the other party being uninsured, you’ll need to have uninsured motorist coverage. No deductibles apply for UMPD claims, though.
After Scene of the Accident Legal Steps
We will help with anything you need to enable you to get the compensation and support you deserve. We strive in helping individuals who have been wrongfully harmed and our legal advisers have successfully settled many cases in San Diego for a long time.
Our notoriety has been based on helping clients in a concerted effort to recoup and recapture their lives back through settlements that can take care of health and auto services costs.
Your well-being is critical to us and we won’t stop short of anything but full recovery. The best thing about our law firm is that there are no forthright expenses or holding charges.
To help with your peace of mind during such a stressful process, we give you a free consultation to survey your case. At the point when an agreement is made for dealing with your case, there are no additional expenses or court and administration charges until the verdict that the case is won.
Contact us if you’ve just been in an accident. Time is precious, so don’t waste it dealing with hypotheticals, assumptions, or unnecessary confusion.
Get the justice that you deserve.