The average driver in the United States files a collision claim every 18 years.
This means that even if you’re a great driver, it’s very likely you’ll encounter at least one motor vehicle accident during your lifetime. So you need to know how to manage the situation properly to avoid any additional issues when it occurs.
You should also know what to do in case you get hurt. Over 2 million Americans suffer injuries as a result of a car accident every year.
Let’s look at the most important steps you need to take immediately after a car crash.
1. Prioritize Safety
If you’re involved in a minor accident in a metro area, you’re required by Texas law to move your car off the roadway. Otherwise, you need to park it as close to the crash site as possible.
Next, check to see if anyone sustained any injuries. Be sure to call an ambulance immediately if necessary.
In a situation where the other driver isn’t present, you need to leave a visible note with your name and address. This can help you avoid hit-and-run charges.
2. Get a Hold of the Police
Regardless of the severity of the motor vehicle accident, you should notify the police immediately. Not only will this protect you in case anyone decides to get violent, but you’ll also have an easier time proving the accident took place. The police will fill out an accident report after they arrive.
Making an agreement with the other driver is a mistake, especially if they’re at fault. While they may make promises that sound good, they could just as easily deny everything later.
3. Exchange Information with Other Drivers
After you ensure everyone’s safe and the police are on their way, it’s time to exchange insurance information with the other drivers.
If the name of the driver differs from that of the insured, make sure to write it down as well. Get their contact info, driver license number, and license plate number.
When interacting with the other party, steer clear of discussing fault. Remain courteous, but don’t admit guilt or apologize whatsoever. They can use this against you later.
4. Document Everything You Can
Until the police and tow trucks get there, you have some time to document the accident.
Use your smartphone to snap as many pictures as possible. Begin by getting wide shots, and then move in closer. Don’t forget to get shots of the license plates as well as any damaged signs and tire marks.
Once the police arrive, jot down their names and badge numbers. If there are any witnesses at the scene, write down their contact info too.
5. Inform Your Insurance Company
The earlier you reach out to your insurance company, the better. Contacting them early makes it easier for them to assess the situation.
Keep in mind that you should resist admitting fault when talking to your insurance company. It will be up to the claims adjusters to decide who was at fault after looking at all the proof.
Handling Injuries After a Motor Vehicle Accident
If you sustain a fracture or laceration in a car crash, you’ll feel the pain almost immediately.
But some serious issues, such as internal bleeding and traumatic brain injury, may show delayed symptoms. This is why it’s important to get a medical check-up even if you think everything is fine.
Have you suffered an injury in a motor vehicle accident? If so, make sure to contact our law firm today so we can help you file a personal injury claim.