Although automotive vehicles of all shapes and sizes are generally perceived to be safe in this day and age, car accidents continue to claim the lives of thousands every year and cause injury to countless more. Accidents are an inevitability, even in a near perfect world. Unfortunately, since most people are unaware of the proper procedure to follow after an accident, often victims are unable to claim insurance protection or properly take legal action against those responsible for the accident. This means that even after going through the ordeal of an accident that may have resulted in injury or death, often victims end up paying large sums of money to get their lives back in order while the responsible driver walks away with little more than a slap on the wrist.
Even if you consider yourself to be a safe and cautious driver, you are at risk for automotive accidents. More often than not, the victims are not the one’s responsible for the accident, meaning just because you are a good driver, doesn’t mean everyone else on the road is. That is why the best protection against an unfortunate auto or trucking accident is to be prepared by knowing the proper procedure and to have an auto accident lawyer such as Aaron Woods on hand to reach out to when the moment arises.
Suggested actions to take right away at the scene of the accident
These suggestions may vary somewhat depending on the circumstance and the exact nature of the crash and the vehicles involved. No matter what the situation is, though, the first step is to stop your vehicle immediately if it is not stopped already and pull over. Once you are off to the side of the road, out of the way of the incoming traffic, turn on your emergency lights and assess the situation. If anyone is seriously injured, they need to be tended to right away. However, if possible, it is best to keep everyone involved in the accident on site until the police arrive. Even if the accident seems minor, insurance companies and your auto accident attorney will require police reports to take action effectively.
While you wait for the police’s arrival, exchange information with the other parties involved in the accident. Document as much as you can with a cell phone or camera. This will come in handy both for your insurance claims as well as any potential legal action recommended by your car accident lawyer. Most likely the police will gather all of this information when they arrive on the scene, but it is always best to have your own record of what happened just in case.
You should never, under any circumstance, even for the smallest accident, leave the scene without reporting the incident to the police. Even if the other party involved seems entirely amicable and willing to cover your costs, most likely you are dealing with a total stranger. They may hold to their word and they may not. Just in case, it is better to be prepared to file insurance claims and take legal action should it come to that.
Assessing the damage and determining if you need to contact your car accident attorney
Depending on the nature of the accident, the relations you have with the other drivers involved in the accident, and how much the incident is affecting your financials, you may or may not need to engage an attorney. However, if the medical bills are piling up, your car is not in a functioning capacity, insurance is not coming through for some reason, and the other driver is being unresponsive or even denying your claims, it may be time to discuss the incident with an auto or truck accident attorney to put together a case.
Since you have successfully prepared all the essential documentation for your auto accident attorney, they will be well-equipped to help you receive the necessary compensation for the accident you experienced. In short, the best advice to dealing with an accident of any kind is to document everything yourself in as much detail as possible and always report the incident to the police immediately, so there is a public record that matches your personal evidence.