Nearly 16650 people succumbed to vehicle accidents in the US in 2020. The World Health Organization reported approximately 1.35 million deaths and 4.4 million injuries in one year around the globe. USA’s traffic fertility rate alone is at 12.4% right now. These statistics have urged the World Health Organization to label vehicle accidents as the leading cause of death.
There are plenty of people who get stuck in heated arguments or, worse, delayed legal work because they have no idea what to do in such a situation. If you ever experienced a motor vehicle accident, there are certain things you should keep in mind at all times. These will ensure everyone’s safety, process items lawfully, and at times, even help you get your insurance rights.
1. Do Not Run Away
The first and most important thing for you to do is stop at the accident site, irrespective of whether it was a major or minor accident. If you think the accident did little to no damage. It is your responsibility to be present at the scene of the accident if you were involved.
2. Call The Authorities
Again, no matter how small or big the accident was, you must report it to the police. If you don’t, there is a decent chance you might be charged for a felony even if you were not at fault.
It is also a good idea to always have a lawyer ready to represent you if the situation gets out of hand. Some lawyers preferably represent clients involved in vehicle accidents. The selection of a lawyer is preferable when a firm’s name backs the law professional. For example, you may contact any motorcycle accident attorney in Colorado through a law agency and settle down your terms and conditions.
If the accident did any property damage, you would need a police report to claim your insurance rights. But to do this, make sure the vehicle(s) stay put in their position so the cops can thoroughly examine the accident site.
3. Limit Your Information Exchange
You must limit your conversation about what not happened and why that caused the accident, especially with the other party involved.
The only people you should be talking to are the cops and the medical assistance team. If you wish to claim insurance for your vehicle, then your insurance officer.
One more thing, do not directly admit your fault. It might sound unethical, but it is what’s best for you. Be quiet, answer when asked, and let the police and your lawyer do their jobs.
4. Exchange Information
There are times when the police don’t respond or arrive super late. You should keep a file about passengers, drivers, and vehicles involved in the accidents. You should note some important information about the other driver and passengers’ full name, contact numbers, and insurance company details. Also, note down the color and model of all the vehicles along with their license plate numbers.
These will come in handy when presenting your case to the insurance office. The officer will inspect the vehicle and gauge damage, compare the information provided by you and the other parties, and any police reports. If there were witnesses present at the scene, get their contact information as well. They can help you with your case and the police investigation.
5. Take Pictures From Your Mobile Phone
Pictures are always a great source of help in investigations and cases. Thanks to the latest technology, almost all smartphones are now equipped with cameras. If you have a camera or a phone, take pictures of the damage or your injuries to keep as proof.
It helps because most insurance agencies allow you to submit various documents before looking into your case. However, this does not mean that you start interrupting the police investigation. It is best to take pictures before the police’s arrival.
Lastly, be aware of the risks of putting out your personal information. Identity theft has become very common. You giving out your details to the opposite party (who are strangers) puts you at significant risk.
6. Claim Your Insurance
Once you have collected all relevant information and pictures, it’s time to give your insurance officer a call. The sooner you do this, the better. It is necessary to do this immediately. Simultaneously, you are at the accident scene only so your insurance advisor can guide you about all the documents you need to process your claim.
However, you might be in a state of shock at the time of the accident so asking a police officer for insurance guidance is also a wise idea. In some cases, police officers might even be a better guide than your regular insurance agents. Also, do not forget to file a claim for the vehicle damage. In the meantime, you can consider having a rental accident replacement car for your regular use.
7. Visit A Doctor
Motor vehicle accidents can be horrific and detrimental to your health. Not all injuries caused by motor vehicle accidents are visible. Most injuries are internal and start to hurt a day or two after the accident. Therefore, you must seek medical advice immediately, even if you feel no pain at all. Even some minor automobile accidents can cause severe injuries like muscle and soft tissue damage. These can be extremely painful and long-lasting.
These injuries can cause harmful side-effects if left untreated. For example, head injury leading to brain damage can cause several pressing behavioral concerns.
Motor vehicle accidents can be seriously concerning and dangerous at times. What’s worse is that you can end up getting into quite a lot of unnecessary trouble when it might not even be your fault. Learn to play your cards right. Follow the above steps and don’t get involved in anything further. Do not try to outsmart the police that will make them annoyed. Don’t even try to interrupt their investigation; let them do their job. Call your attorney, seek legal advice, protect your rights, and then claim your insurance.
Do not get manipulated into committing to anything. You don’t know who you are dealing with or what influence or sources they have. Be honest and stick to one story until your claim gets approved.