Despite our best efforts, there is a high likelihood that we will be involved in a car accident at some point in time. On average, according to estimates, during a person’s lifetime, they will be involved in three to four car accidents. Admittedly, that number seems daunting and frightening, but fortunately, there are steps you can take to ensure an efficient and favorable outcome if you have been involved in a car accident.
When involved in a car accident, it’s vital to be prepared and know what to do should you encounter this unfortunate circumstance regardless of if you are the at-fault party. It would be incredibly beneficial to use a car accident attorney if you have found yourself involved in a car accident and have sustained injuries. An attorney can assist you in claiming compensation or help you in a case where you are the guilty party.
The Common Types of Car Accidents in America
Before you can learn what to do when becoming involved in a car accident, it’s essential to be able to identify the different types of car accidents. As there are quite a few: we have briefly stated five of the most common below:
- Single-vehicle crashes
- Rear-end collisions
- Head-on collisions
- T-bone accidents
- Multi-vehicle collisions
Common Causes of a Car Accident
Car accidents are arguably one of the most common causes of death for healthy American citizens. In actuality, there are several car accident causes that fall within this generalization. Besides the number one cause of a car accident being distracted driving, there are many other common causes which we will briefly look at below:
- Drunk driving or driving under the influence of medication
- Reckless driving
- Unsafe weather conditions
- Drivers failing to adhere to traffic lights and stop signs
- Car defects due to manufacturing errors
- Wrong-way driving and unsafe lane merging
A Six-Step Guide of What to Do if You Have Been Involved In a Car Accident
Now that we know the different types and causes of a car accident, we can determine what to do if we have been involved in one. Hopefully, this brief guide will help you learn what you should do after you’ve found yourself immersed in the midst of a car accident.
Step One: Stay Calm
The first and most essential step is to remain calm. Staying calm will allow you to handle the accident situation easier and more effectively than if you had allowed your emotions to take over.
Step Two: Assess Yourself for Injuries
You will need to check yourself and your passengers for any injuries and assess how serious they are. Remember not to move anyone as this can do more harm than good.
If someone is hurt, you will need to call an ambulance for assistance immediately. Additionally, it would be best to attain and keep all medical records from the accident, which can help you seek compensation.
Step Three: Report the Accident
At this stage, you should also call the police, even if the car accident was minor, to file an official report. Most insurance companies will require an official police report, and not having one could affect your claim.
A police report can also be of assistance if you have been involved in an accident that has caused you to suffer injuries, as your personal injury attorney will likely need the report as evidence.
Step Four: Move Yourself and Your Vehicle to a Safe Area if Possible
If the cars involved in the accident can still operate, you will need to move them to the road’s shoulder, if not off the road altogether where possible. Leaving your car on the road where the accident occurred could result in another accident transpiring.
Additionally, if you have safety equipment such as flares and emergency triangles, use them to warn the traffic. However, if there appears to be a chance of explosion or fire, get yourself and others away from the vehicle without moving it.
Step Five: Limit Conversation with the Parties Involved in the Accident
Perhaps what’s most important when involved in a car accident is to limit all conversation with parties involved. You should also never admit any fault, as this could have disastrous effects on the claims process with your insurer. Ideally, try to only talk to the police, health care personal, and your insurance company.
Step Six: Get All the Facts You Can About the Car Accident
Many people forget to get as many facts as possible about the accident they were involved in. You will need to get all names, addresses, license plate numbers, and phone numbers of anyone involved. Moreover, you will need to get their car’s vehicle identification number and their insurance company’s telephone number. This information will help in your claims process with your insurer or with your lawsuit with your attorney.
A car accident can be an incredibly traumatizing event and can place strain on you emotionally and financially. Hopefully, this guide shows you what to do if you are ever involved in a car accident. Remember to contact the police, your insurer, and medical personnel. Additionally, it would also be beneficial to get in touch with your attorney, who can help guide you further on what to do during or after the accident.