Involved in a car accident? Crucial first steps

No one wants to be caught up in a road accident; well aside from the inconvenience of having to wait till the police arrive to record a statement and the possible loss of life, there is also the fact that you will not be able to use your car for some time.

A car accident scene is no doubt a circus of emotions and often people do the wrong things with good intentions. You can never tell when an accident is going to happen, but just in case you find yourself on the wrong side or victim side of one, here is what you need to do.

Remain calm

This is easier said than done because of the level of panic involved. You may have been involved in an accident on your way to attend to an important issue but the accident by-passes all other priorities. If you must be somewhere else, make a phone call or ask the police to inform your next of kin about what you have been involved in. Atlanta car accident lawyers are the best to use as liaisons with other people who are not at the scene. Leaving the accident scene for any reason could lead to serious penalties especially if the damage involved is severe.

Call for medical attention

This depends on how badly you have been hurt yourself. If you can, move around to the people who have been involved asking how badly they feel and offering help where you can. It would be best to call for medical attention if it appears that someone needs it. Ask around among the bystanders if any, for anyone who is trained in first aid to help in taking care of the casualties. Whatever you do, do not be tempted to move an unconscious person or someone with back or neck pain because it could lead to more injury.

Preserve the scene

Any accident scene has the potential of turning into a crime scene especially when there are fatalities. Death following an accident could happen immediately after an impact or later on after leaving the scene. It would really help to preserve the scene by leaving all items as they are and there should be people to take charge before the police arrive. Why does the scene need to be intact? If things are not moved around after an accident, it becomes easy for law enforcement to reconstruct event just prior to the accident that will be helpful in determining the guilty party. If you have a camera or a phone that can take pictures, you can either take the pictures yourself or ask someone who is in better condition than you to do so. Photos also help the insurance company to assess the damage to property whose cost they are supposed to offset.

Call the insurance company

This should be done within the first few minutes after the accident has happened. The purpose for calling your agent or broker is so that they can be aware of this impending claim especially if you are in the wrong. Insurance companies will in all cases try to minimize their liability by sighting negligence. Corporation and honesty are very crucial when recounting the facts of the accident to the insurance representative you speak to. If you can access the police report on the accident, then you can at least clearly state the person who was at fault or broke the traffic rules, otherwise, deny responsibility.

Call the police

Some accidents are evidently minor; the body of one or both cars has been scratched lightly, there is no injury and the cost of repairs is likely going to be minimal. In such cases, you can exchange phone numbers with the driver of the other vehicle to collaborate on repairing the slight damage and go on your way. If a law enforcement officer is called to the scene, request to co-sign a police report and obtain the identification details of the officers who responded to the call. This information will be required by Atlanta car accident lawyers if the case were to take a legal turn.

Hire a lawyer

At any accident scene, the key players are the insurance companies whose aim is to minimize claims paid out, the police who are tasked with protecting the rights of other citizens and pressing charges for offenses and you the accident victim or traffic offender. Atlanta car accident lawyers have experienced attorneys who will help you gain more in terms of benefits from your insurance or defend your case if you were in the wrong. The general assumption about hiring a lawyer is the high cost but the good news is that most of them work on contingency basis.

It is not easy to predict what will happen or how you will behave after an accident but you must be aware that everyone is trying hard to gain from the situation. Exercise caution if anyone makes an early offer for settlement for any damages you have incurred or asks to speak to you regarding the details of the accident in the pretense of trying to fix things.

Leave a Reply