car accident

What To Do When You Are Involved in an Auto Accident

  • Remain calm and move to safety after an auto accident. Turn on hazard lights and set up emergency flashers.
  • Call 911 and give a clear description of the location. Exchange information with all drivers involved.
  • Take notes and photos, and contact your insurance company to process a claim. 
  • Seek medical attention and consider legal aid for fair compensation.
  • Proactively handle the situation for a smoother recovery.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration has just released its estimates for 2022 traffic fatalities. The projected number of people lost in a crash is 31,785 during the first nine months. This is 0.2 percent fewer than 2021’s death toll of 31,850 over that same period.

An auto accident is a traumatic event for everyone involved. No matter how minor the accident, it can leave you feeling shaken and overwhelmed. It’s important to know what steps to take when an auto accident occurs so that you can protect your rights and ensure that any damages are adequately compensated for. Here are the steps you should take in the event of an auto accident.

Male and female drivers calmly discussing the car accident on the road.

Remain Calm & Move to Safety

The first step is to remain calm. Ensure that you and your passengers are not injured, and move your vehicle to safety if it is safe. If your vehicle cannot be moved, turn on the hazard lights, activate the emergency flashers, and set up flares or triangles if available. 

Call for Help

Once all of these steps are taken, call 911 immediately. Be sure to give the emergency dispatcher a clear description of the location and any other information that might be necessary. If you can remain at the scene, stay in your vehicle until help arrives. If you must leave your car, make sure that it is safe to do so. Watch for oncoming traffic and wear reflective clothing if possible.

Exchange Information & Document Damage

Exchange information with all drivers involved in the accident, including name, address, phone number, driver’s license number, make/model/year of car, license plate number, and insurance information.

Take Notes

Take notes about what happened during the accident, such as time of day, location, weather conditions, and any details about damages or injuries incurred by yourself or other parties involved in the incident.

Take Photos

Take photographs of any damage to each vehicle and any visible injuries sustained by any parties involved in the accident, if possible. Be sure to include photos from several angles and distances of all cars involved for a full picture of what happened to be seen clearly.

Male and female drivers calling their respective insurance companies after an accident on the road.

Notify Your Insurance Company & Seek Medical Treatment

Contact your insurance company immediately after an auto accident, even if no injuries were sustained or apparent damages were done to either vehicle. Most companies require notification within 24 hours of an incident, so be sure to contact them immediately so they can begin processing your claim as soon as possible.

Seek Medical Attention

Seek medical attention anytime an injury, or potential injury occurred during an auto accident, regardless of its severity. Some injuries may not appear until days later but must still be reported so that they can be included in your medical records. The records will help support your case should legal action need to be taken later. The legal action may arise due to a dispute involving fault or compensation payment amounts associated with damages or injuries incurred during an incident.

Documentation for Insurance

A medical professional will also provide documentation such as MRI results, which could play a key role when it comes time for settlement negotiations between parties involved in an auto accident dispute case.

Contact a Legal Professional

Contacting a reputable auto injury lawyer might be necessary if you have been injured due to someone else’s negligence during an auto accident. But it depends on where you live geographically since laws vary from state to state. For example, some states employ no-fault laws. These states require their residents to go through their insurance companies before filing suit against another party, even if they were not at fault. In contrast, other states require proof of fault before filing a claim against another party, regardless of whether they have insurance coverage.

Fair Compensation

Hiring a lawyer specializing in car accidents will help ensure that you get fair compensation for any damages. These damages may be physical (medical bills) and emotional (pain/suffering) from the incident. The expertise provided by these lawyers will also prove invaluable when dealing with insurance companies since they often try to minimize claimants’ payouts whenever possible.

No one ever wants to experience being part of an auto accident. But knowing what steps must be taken beforehand helps ease stress levels significantly should one occur. Knowing how to handle a situation makes the process much easier and smoother, ensuring that rights remain protected throughout the ordeal. Taking a proactive approach ensures getting fair treatment deserves post-accident makes long-run smoother, easier recovery quickly and efficiently possible.

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