Every driver does their best to avoid accidents on the road but, sadly, it isn’t always possible. There are around 6 million accidents on America’s roads each year and a substantial number of these cause serious injuries or fatalities.
Whether you’re on a long-distance road trip, commuting to work or simply heading to the store, it’s important to know what to do if you’re involved in an accident. To ensure you’re always prepared, be sure to take the following steps after a collision of any kind.
1. Leave Your Car Safely
If you’re able to do so, exit your vehicle as quickly as possible, turning the ignition off as you do so. Depending on the severity of the incident, you may be able to pull your vehicle onto the side of the road to avoid causing a further collision. However, if your vehicle isn’t in a drivable condition, don’t attempt to move it.
2. Seek Medical Help
If you or anyone else has sustained injuries in the incident, call 911 immediately. Serious injuries can often be masked, so it’s better to be checked over by a medical professional than risking an unnecessary complication. As you’re requesting help from EMTs, you can also ask that law enforcement attend the scene of the accident. Some states require that every accident is reported, so if you’re traveling long distance, make sure you know the law in your current location.
3. Disclose Limited Information
After an accident, it’s customary that the drivers involve exchange information, such as their contact details and the name of their insurance company. You may also want to check that they haven’t been seriously injured. However, be careful when engaging in small talk with other parties and avoid making any admissions of liability, as this could cause complications further down the line.
4. Access Legal Advice
While your primary concern following an accident is your well-being and the well-being of anyone else involved, a road traffic incident can have serious financial and legal ramifications too. By getting advice from personal injury specialists such as Horst Shewmaker, you can protect yourself from potential claims. In addition to this, a personal injury lawyer will be able to determine whether you’re eligible to take legal action and, if so, how much compensation you could receive.
5. Collect Evidence
If you’re able to do so, begin collecting evidence at the scene of the accident. Taking photographs or videos on your cell phone can help to show where the vehicles are situated and the conditions, which may be helpful at a later date. As well as assisting with a potential compensation claim, the evidence you gather could prove that you’re not liable for the incident.
Recovering After a Road Traffic Accident
Even if you haven’t sustained serious injuries, it can take quite some time to get over the shock of being involved in a road traffic accident. Due to this, you should avoid getting behind the wheel until you feel calm and collected. As you begin to recover from the incident, you can rebuild your confidence on the road.