Having a car crash can be incredibly traumatic and cause a lot of pain and suffering. Knowing what to do if you have been involved in a car crash is very important as you may have sustained extensive injuries or damage to your vehicle. Taking the right steps following the crash will ensure that you get the help you need to recover from the crash, while doing the wrong thing after an accident can leave you vulnerable.
To help everyone who has been involved in a car crash, here are the do’s and don’t’s you should follow.
1. DO Get the Other Driver’s Information
The moments right after a car accident will certainly leave you confused and fuzzy. The first thing you need to do if you have been involved in a car crash is to get the information of all of the other parties involved. This will include their name and insurance details so the issue can be resolved later and compensation sought from the responsible party. If the other drivers refuse to give you their information, don’t get into a conflict. Take down their vehicle details, move away from them and contact the police. You should also speak to any witness who saw what happened as their testimony can be used as evidence later.
2. DO Wait for the Police to Arrive
It is really important that if you are involved in a serious crash that you wait for the police to arrive. In some places, in fact, it is illegal to leave the scene of an accident, and there are major consequences if you do. The police will take statements from everyone involved in the crash, and any witnesses and their reports will be very important evidence. If the police judge someone to be responsible due to reckless driving or because they are drunk or under the influence of drugs, they may make an arrest.
3. DO Hire an Attorney
Seeking experienced legal representation is vital after even a minor car crash because you will need your attorney to fight the case. Different states have different laws, so your attorney will be able to explain everything you need to know. For instance, if you are involved in a car accident in Las Vegas, you will need to know the liability laws in Nevada so that you can seek compensation from the right person. A specialized accident attorney will gather the evidence, prepare the case, and discuss any potential out-of-court settlements. When choosing an attorney, make sure you ask them about their record in similar cases to yours, so you know they have the skills and experience to succeed.
4. DO Seek Immediate Medical Attention
Make sure that you seek medical attention straight away following a car crash. In order to treat injuries effectively, it is always better if the doctors are able to check you and start the treatment as soon as possible. Many people after a car crash are in shock and so may not even realize that they are injured. A medical professional will be able to identify your injuries and prescribe the right course of treatment. You will also need your medical reports to use as evidence in the case when you come to claim compensation later.
5. DON’T Accept Blame
Even if you feel like you were responsible for a car crash, it is very important that you don’t immediately accept blame. This is not a judgment for you to make, and while you may feel that you did something which caused the crash, you don’t know whether the other parties are intoxicated or if there were problems with the vehicles. Hire an attorney immediately and let them sort out the case. If you accept blame at the scene of the crash or when speaking to the police later, you could be liable for huge compensation.
6. DON’T Speak to the Other Side’s Lawyers
There is no doubt that the responsible party in the crash will not want to pay for your injuries or compensation, so their lawyers will try to put pressure on you to drop your claim against their client. The best thing to do is to refuse to engage with them at all and just allow your attorneys to deal with everything.
7. DON’T Accept a Low Offer
The responsible party and their lawyers may offer you an out-of-court settlement to avoid having to go to trial. The first offer they make is likely to be very low so make sure you don’t just accept it automatically. Your attorneys will be able to tell you what is a fair offer based on their experience.
Car crashes can be really bad events, and knowing what to do if you are involved in one can be very confusing. Follow the do’s and don’ts in this guide, and you will be assured of the best possible outcome.