The furthest thing from your mind while you make your regular commute is getting into an accident. However, this is the most likely time it will happen. People traversing their normal routes often zone out and shift to autopilot. Doing this puts everyone in danger. Do you know what to do should you find yourself part of a car accident? Familiarize yourself with these crucial first steps, so if the time comes, you will know how to handle the jarring event.
Assess Yourself (and Others) for Injury
Immediately following an accident, you should not try to jump out of the vehicle. Instead, take some time to conduct an assessment of the way your body feels. Slowly move your neck and limbs, stopping if there is pain. Depending on the severity of the crash, you may have suffered a head or back injury that warrants special attention by medical personnel. Absent this, however, once you discover that you are well enough to leave the car, check on the other driver’s health. Regardless of whether someone at the scene expresses pain or not, it is a good idea to call emergency services. You want a police officer to take an official report of the crash to aide in your insurance company’s investigation.
Exchange Personal Information
While you are waiting for the police, you and the other driver should exchange personal information. This consists of your driver’s license, insurance card and registration information. Take pictures of the vehicles and any debris in the roadway. If you moved the cars out of the right of way, take photos of where the accident occurred.
Get Checked Out
Even if you don’t feel like you are hurt, you should get a full medical exam. You can do this with your doctor at a clinic or hospital. If you are injured, you want to find out now so you can begin treatment.
Contact Your Insurance Company
Call your insurance company and alert them to the accident. If you live in a no-fault state, your insurer will pay for your medical care and any damage to your vehicle. In a tort state, the at-fault insurance carrier will be asked to pay, as a personal injury lawyer in Canoga Park, CA, such as from Unidos Legales, can explain. The investigation in an at-fault state may take time, but in the meantime, you may be eligible to receive financial assistance from your insurer.
If you find out that you have suffered an injury, time may be crucial. A personal injury lawyer will work on your behalf to lobby the at-fault insurance carrier to pay your medical expenses and reimburse you lost wages and other relevant compensation.