You looked down for a second to change the radio station. By the time you looked up, you noticed that the light had turned green, and you are still sitting there. You look in your rear view as you begin to hit the gas button. The driver behind you is coming full speed and they don?t appear to be looking at you. You honk your horn, but it is too late. The driver slams into the back of you, throwing your head forward, and causing the air bag to open. What now? A surprising number of drivers do not know how to properly handle an accident. The steps that you take immediately following the accident are extremely important.
Make sure you are okay
Never get out of your vehicle if it will cause you harm. Mentally check your body and how you are feeling. If you need help, call out. Someone will eventually come to check on you. If possible, reach for your mobile phone or use your hands free calling system to speed up help. If you feel fine, you will want to remove yourself from the vehicle, if it is safe to do so. If you are on a busy road, or cars are flying by you, it might be best to stay in the vehicle and call for help. However, if you are able to get out, check on the other driver. If everyone appears to be okay, you should still call for help, just in case.
Call for police backup
Many drivers miss this important step. Calling the police is not necessarily for the purpose of reporting an illegal activity. You will need the police present to file a traffic report. This traffic report could become very important later on, if you need medical costs covered or for insurance purposes. Many car accident cases are decided on the police accident report. If you decide to hire personal injury lawyers, you will need a copy of the police report for the case.
Your police report will likely include photographs, but you can never be too careful. Having additional photographs of the scene of the accident can be extremely useful for your car accident attorney. Personal injury lawyers are often required to go off of the police report alone. If they have access to photos showing who is at fault and the specific damage that was done, it can make it easier to win the case and receive just compensation. There are approximately 6 million car accidents in the U.S. each year. Having sufficient photographs will set you apart from the accidents that are unable to claim proof.
Hire experienced personal injury lawyers
Hiring a law firm with experienced personal injury lawyers can also make the process easier. If you have a preferred law firm during the time of the accident, it can be helpful to call them immediately following the accident. Otherwise, attempt to document as much of the accident as you can, while you search for the best personal injury lawyers. This means documenting the actual accident, the police report, any medical needs, and any medical advice recommendations for future medical care. Your personal injury settlement should include both current and future medical needs.
About 3 million people are injured every year in car accidents on U.S. roads. Many drivers are not aware of the proper way to handle an auto accident, even when they are the car accident victim. The first step should always be to check if everyone is okay and if anyone requires any type of medical care. The police should also be called to file any necessary police reports. From here, you want to work with experienced personal injury lawyers who will help you through the rest of the personal injury process.