A car accident can be a harrowing event. Apart from the emotional toll, distress, and financial burden it may cause to recover from damages, there is always a chance that one could make matters worse.
There is no doubt that in that moment, a person may experience an unimaginable amount of pressure, and in their nervousness, they might actually end up doing something that can later hurt them even more.
According to the World Health Organization, nearly 1.35 million people die each year as a result of road traffic crashes. At most, road traffic crashes can cost up to 3% of a country’s gross domestic product.
Furthermore, more than half of road traffic deaths involve vulnerable road users such as pedestrians, cyclists, and motorcyclists. In fact, road traffic injuries are considered the leading cause of fatalities for children and young adults aged 5-29 years.
In light of this information, let us take a quick look at some of the things that you can do to ensure your own safety and wellbeing after a car accident.
Things You Need to Do In Case of a Car Accident
It is imperative that you calm yourself down and do not evade the scene in case of a car accident. In many instances, people might consider a flight response to the situation where they simply want to get away with the fact they have been involved in a car accident.
This is not the right approach. As a responsible citizen, it is your duty to stop even if it is a minor accident. Here is what you need to do.
- Ensure that you protect other people from falling victim and prevent any further accidents from happening. It is best that you protect the scene. You can set up a flare or keep your flashers on to signal oncoming traffic that something is terribly wrong. In case your car lights are disabled, a flashlight can be used to signal for help and keep you safe.
- After regaining control over the situation, the first thing you need to do is inform the authorities or the police. This will help you file a claim with your insurance company and protect you from further financial troubles.
- Secondly, you must maintain an accurate record of the events that folded before and after the accident. Remain credible and inform investigation officers exactly what happened to the best of your ability. Never misstate facts. If you are unsure or unaware of them, this will only make things more complicated and might get you into more trouble later on. Speak honestly and state events as truly as possible.
- While the police department is tasked with collecting all viable information pertaining to the accident, in case they don’t respond, consider it your duty to obtain the name, address, telephone number of all persons involved in the accident.
- We are living in an era where smartphone technologies run rampantly across the planet. Hence you should do the needful and take as many pictures of the accident as possible. Make sure you take pictures of where the vehicle is damaged, as it could later be used as evidence for further investigation. In case of sustained injuries, you should also take pictures of them immediately. Injuries from car accidents and car wreck injuries can, at times, become visible after hours of the incident.
- It is also your duty to report the accident to your insurance company and notify them immediately. Many insurance companies and their policies require that you immediately report and fully cooperate regarding the matter. See to the matter that your insurance covers medical benefits.
- Next up, you should definitely and, most importantly, seek medical support or at least book an appointment with an accident injury doctor at your soonest. Seeking medical attention is a must because, as mentioned earlier, car accident related injuries at times do not surface immediately, and they may reveal themselves later on. Hence just to be on the safe side, meet with a professional doctor and have yourself completely examined to prevent any unfortunate developments in the future.
- I simply cannot point out the significance of keeping a file for the entire event and maintaining a complete record of events that unfold afterward. You must make sure that all your accident-related documents and information are kept together in a comprehensive file that simply doesn’t miss out on any necessary detail. Most importantly, your file should include information such as the claim adjuster who is handling the claim, the claim number, names and phone numbers of all persons involved in the accident, receipts for a rental car, and other expenses incurred. Previously it is also advisable that have a look at the insurance card for all vehicles involved in the accident. If there are any witnesses, then get their contact information so that your attorney could call them if the need arises. Investigating officers will provide you with a police report number, very important! Keep it safe as you would need that number later to request for the police report.
- Always protect your rights. As a citizen of an established and developed country, you should know that consulting an attorney is vital to protect your rights. Legal advice can be crucial before you give out any official statements. Your attorney is your savior who can offer you the advice you need on issues to get full compensation.
- Lastly, you will be required to file an insurance claim. Knowing what to expect can prepare you for what is about to come next. Every insurance company handles claims a bit differently, but there are many similarities. I will cover this in a separate section.
Filing for Insurance – What to Expect?
First of all, you need to provide information about the accident. This can include names, contact, insurance, and vehicle information for everyone involved with the accident. Location, time of day, and even weather conditions are of relevance so take ample notes.
Photos of damaged vehicles are very important. Plus, you need to report on all the officers who helped you, including names and badge numbers of those who responded and came to your help. Lastly, you would be required to deliver a copy of the accident report.
Follow this up with questions of your own when you meet with an official at the insurance company. Ask them in detail about your insurance coverage, the policy itself, and what it has to offer. Your deductibles always take precedence as you should know what is at stake here.
Ask for transportation expense coverage as it can pay for rental reimbursement at times. It can help you pay for a rental car or other transportation forms while your car is being repaired.
Lastly, its always good to know how long you have to submit a claim. The time limit is extremely significant because if you miss out on the due date or deadline for submission, then the entire plan can backfire.
I hope this post was able to offer you some meaningful insights as to what you can do in case of a car accident. The level of preparedness you have on your side can help you make this incident much more bearable.
I wish you all to have safe journeys on the road. Always wear your seat belt and ask passengers to do the same. Stay safe and drive safely.
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