What You Should Consider When Caught In A Car Accident
If you have a car, you’re most likely aware of the various duties and responsibilities you have as a driver and as a road user. However, no matter how safe you think you are, accidents may have a way of creeping up on you. If they do, do you know what to do?
World Health Organization numbers indicate that road traffic crashes are actually the eighth leading cause of deaths around the world every year, with 4,300 people dying of these accidents every day, and an estimated total of 1.25 million casualties every year. Half of these crashes involve “vulnerable road users,” or the WHO grouping for pedestrians, and motorcycle and bicycle users. Outside these numbers, approximately 20 to 50 million more people either end up becoming disabled or injured as a result of a car accident.
Being caught in a car accident is no easy thing to deal with, and it can sometimes be overwhelming for you. However, here are a few things you should consider when you’re caught in one:
- Be aware of your health and your surroundings. Take a deep breath and make a quick assessment of the environment around you. Are you safe? Are you harmed? Check yourself for injuries, and check if the other passengers with you are safe. If you can get out of the vehicle, do so slowly and find a safe place in the area.
- Don’t leave the scene of the accident as this can give the impression that you’re leaving the accident zone. This can get you penalized for a hit and run, and this can get you in a whole other dimension of trouble.
- Call for assistance immediately, especially the cops and medical professionals. Don’t move other injured parties unless you’re qualified to do so. Even then, do consult with your lawyer about if it’s a safe move to tend to injured parties if you’re a qualified first responder, as injuries or even death that occur in the accident may suddenly be blamed on you.
- Get information. If you’re sure you’re safe, try to gather information from everyone around you, including other drivers, passengers, and witnesses. Politely ask for their name and contact information. Don’t apologize, however, as this may imply that you’re taking blame.
- Take pictures when the opportunity arises. If you have a camera, make sure you get pictures in different angles. Take pictures of the scene, the damaged vehicles and other property, as well as the injuries you and other people have suffered.
- Keep track of documentation. When the police arrives, ask them if they can make a police report of this incident so you can get a copy. Keep track of any expenses you’ve accrued since the time of the accident. If there are any receipts and records of treatment or medicine you had to buy, as well as therapy you had to be subjected to, make copies of these for proper reference.
- Call your insurance company. If you’re insured for car accidents, it’s best you call your insurance company to notify them of the incident. If they ask you to recount the events of the accident, be as honest and as detailed as possible. Chances are, your insurance company will conduct their own investigation on the matter, so if you’re caught lying, you might get in big trouble.
- Consult a lawyer for your next move. With the information you have on hand, a lawyer might be able to give you proper direction as to what your next move should be. Sometimes, both settlement and going to trial have their perks, so choose wisely.
When it comes to dealing with car accidents, it’s important to try to maintain a cool head and presence of mind in order to ensure your safety and the safety of others involved. If you’re interested in knowing how a lawyer can help you understand your legal options on the matter, do click here.