Whether you’ve only just passed your driving test recently or you’ve had years of experience behind the wheel, most people will experience being involved in a car accident at some point in their lives.
According to the World Health Organisation, road traffic injuries are the leading cause of death amongst children and young adults aged five to 29 years. Regardless of whose fault the accident was, there is no doubt having to handle the aftermath can be both physically painful and frustrating.
While it is often impossible to avoid car accidents, you can educate yourself on how best to handle the fallout in case you should ever be the victim of such an event. To help you get started on the right foot:
Assess the Damage
Regardless of how minor you think the accident may be, it is imperative that you stop and check yourself and any other passengers for any visible injuries. If possible, you should get out of the car and assess the damage to the vehicle. Remember that even if the visible damage appears to be nothing more than a few scratches or dents, there is still a chance that the collision caused some issues for the internal elements of the car.
Contact Emergency Services
Even if you don’t think anyone has suffered a serious injury, it’s a good idea to contact the emergency services. If possible, get yourself and any passengers to a doctor for a full check up as soon as you can. Remember you’ll need to have a police report for your insurance claims, so make sure you get them to the scene of the accident fast. Ideally, all vehicles should remain where they are until the police arrive and safely arrange for the scene to be cleared.
Once the police arrive, make sure you let them know what happened and include all the information as accurately as possible. Don’t speculate or knowingly misstate any of the facts. If you aren’t sure of something, make that clear. Take down the details of the other driver as well as anyone who was a witness. Finally, if you have a phone camera to hand, be sure to take a few pictures of the damage for your records.
Get Legal Support
Possibly the most important thing you should do after being involved in a motor vehicle accident is to get legal support. A reputable law firm that specialises in motor vehicle accident cases such as Dennis Hernandez & Associates will ensure your rights are protected. In many instances, you’ll find that insurance companies want to take statements as soon as possible, so it is key that you have legal advice at this stage. If you are concerned about the expense of hiring a lawyer, you can rest assured that most good lawyers will work on a “no-win-no-fee” basis which means you’ll only need to pay once the case is settled.
A car accident is something none of us wants to contemplate ever being involved in. However, accidents happen and, in such cases, the best thing we can do is know what steps to follow to ensure we receive the compensation we are entitled to.