Did you know there are approximately six million auto accidents that occur in the United States on a yearly basis? According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), there are approximately 17,250 auto accidents daily. With the risk of getting into an auto accident increasing, it is important to know what steps you need to if you do end up getting into an auto accident.
Step # 1: Stop
One of the most important things you can do after an auto accident is to stop or pull over. You do not want to leave the scene of an accident. Even minor car accidents need to have proper protocol followed or you run the risk of being sued by the other driver, even if the accident wasn’t your fault.
Step # 2: Safety
After an auto accident, you need to protect the scene of the accident and concern yourself with safety. Turn on your hazard lights to make other drivers aware. If it is nighttime, use flares to help alert other drivers. Stay inside your vehicle if it is safe to do so. If not, stand on the side of the roadway near a sidewalk to keep yourself from getting hit by unsuspecting drivers.
Step # 3: Contact Law Enforcement
You need to contact the police as soon as possible. Police will investigate the accident, take statements, and play a critical role in keeping everyone safe. The police can provide you with a copy of their report, which you will need to file with your insurance provider.
Step # 4: Document the Scene
It is important to take pictures, make notes, and document as much as you can from the scene of the accident. In the event you are taken to court or the insurance company is disputing information, you have evidence on your side. Your auto accident attorney can use the information you collect to help your case if you do need to go to court. They can negotiate with insurance companies on your behalf as well.
Step # 5: Exchange Information
All parties involved in the auto accident will need to exchange information. It is important that you work with police to gather this information if the other party is being difficult to talk to. You will need the insurance information of the other driver’s and parties involved as your attorney may need to work with them regarding your claim.
Step # 6: Contact Your Insurance Provider
You will need to contact your insurance provider to make them aware of the accident. They will discuss your benefits with you, your deductible, and what to do from here. If your car is totaled, they can find rental cars for you, and can work with the other insurance company if the accident was the fault of the other driver.
Step # 7: Acquire Medical Attention
If you have been injured, you need to get treated by a medical professional. Police normally call an ambulance to the scene if they are concerned of injuries. Sometimes people do not have any symptoms, but a day or two later, they end up with severe neck pain and other problems. Auto accident injuries can last for years, or can show up months later due to cognitive and behavioral issues. It is important to be examined by a doctor even if you do not think you are injured as certain things like concussions can be hard for some people to understand the long-term impact of the injury.
A lot of doctor offices treat whiplash but Dr. Todd Grant at Grant Chiropractic, has specialty Certification in whiplash injuries. If you have been injured, we can aid with treatments and at-home therapy you can do to strengthen your muscles, reduce inflammation, and accelerate the healing process.
Step # 8: Contact Your Attorney
The most important phone call you will make after everything occurs is contacting your attorney. Contacting an experienced auto injury attorney will allow you to protect your rights. Your attorney will fight for your rights and make sure you are fully compensated for your vehicle, injuries, and long-term suffering.
Don’t become a statistic! Auto accidents are a serious matter and you deserve protection against legal action, or to fight for your rights against insurance companies. Hire a good auto accident attorney today to discuss your rights.