No one ever expects to be in a car accident, but the unfortunate reality is that they happen all the time. In fact, there are around 6 million car accidents in the United States every year. If you or your loved ones are ever involved in a car accident, it’s important to know what to do to protect your safety. In this blog post, we will discuss 7 things you should know about car accidents to keep yourself and your family safe.
1. Don’t panic and stay calm!
First and foremost, if you are ever involved in a car accident, the most important thing to do is to stay calm. It can be tempting to freak out when something unexpected happens, but it’s important to keep a level head so that you can assess the situation and take appropriate action. If you are able, try to move your vehicle off of the road so that you are not blocking traffic. Once you have moved your vehicle, turn on your hazard lights so that other drivers will know that there has been an accident. If someone has been injured in the accident, call 911 immediately and do not try to move them yourself. It’s important to wait for professional help so that further injuries are not inflicted.
2. Check for injuries
Once you have ensured that everyone is out of the way of oncoming traffic, the next step is to check for injuries. Again, if anyone has been injured, it is important to call 911 right away. Even if there do not appear to be any serious injuries, it’s always a good idea to seek medical attention as soon as possible after an accident. Sometimes, injuries may not be immediately apparent but can show up later on. This will help to ensure that you receive the proper medical care and treatment if needed. For example, whiplash is a common injury that can occur in car accidents. Whiplash may not cause pain immediately, but can develop over the next few days.
3. Call an accident lawyer
After you have dealt with any immediate medical concerns, the next step is to call an accident lawyer. For example, if the accident happened in Sacramento then an experienced car accident lawyer in Sacramento will be able to guide you through the process of filing a claim and help you get the compensation you deserve. If you try to deal with the insurance company on your own, they may try to lowball you or deny your claim entirely. Having a lawyer on your side will level the playing field and give you a much better chance of getting a fair settlement.
An experienced car accident lawyer can also help if your case ends up going to trial. If the other driver was at fault for the accident, they may be liable for damages such as medical expenses, lost wages, pain and suffering, and more.
4. Gather evidence
If you are able to do so, it’s important to gather evidence at the scene of the accident. This can include taking pictures of the damage to both vehicles, getting the contact information of any witnesses, and anything else that may be relevant to your case. If you have a live stream dash cam installed, that footage can be used as well. This evidence will be incredibly helpful when dealing with the insurance company or taking legal action. If the police arrive at the scene, be sure to get a copy of the accident report. This will contain important information such as the names and contact information of all parties involved, insurance information, and a description of what happened. It will also have the officer’s opinion on who was at fault for the accident.
5. Exchange information
Once you have gathered all of the evidence, the next step is to exchange information with the other driver. This should include your name, contact information, insurance company, and policy number. You should also get this information from any passengers in your vehicle. It’s important to get this information from everyone involved so that you are covered in case anyone decides to file a claim later on. If there are any witnesses to the accident, be sure to get their names and contact information as well.
6. Call your own insurance company
After you have exchanged information with the other driver, it’s important to call your own car insurance company and let them know about the accident. They will likely want to send an adjuster out to assess the damage and determine who is at fault. Do not give a recorded statement to the other insurance company without first consulting with your own lawyer. The other insurance company may use anything you say against you, so it’s important to have legal representation before giving a statement. Your insurance company will also let you know what steps to take next and how to proceed with filing a claim.
7. Don’t admit fault
Even if you think you may have been at fault for the accident, it’s important not to say anything that could be construed as an admission of guilt. Anything you say to the other driver, witnesses, or police officers can be used against you in court. It’s best to let your lawyer do the talking for you so that you don’t accidentally say something that could hurt your case. For example, if you tell the other driver “I’m so sorry, I didn’t see you,” they could use that against you in court and argue that you were at fault for the accident.
When dealing with the insurance company, it’s also important not to admit fault or make any statements that could be used against you. The insurance adjuster may try to get you to say something that could be used to deny your claim or reduce the amount of compensation you are entitled to. If you have any questions about what you should or shouldn’t say, be sure to consult with your lawyer first.
Following these tips will help you protect your family and ensure that you are treated fairly if you are involved in a car accident. By knowing what to do and what not to do, you can make the process much easier on yourself. If you are ever in doubt about what to do, be sure to consult with an experienced car accident lawyer. They will be able to guide you through the process and help you get the compensation you deserve. Hopefully, you will never have to use these tips, but it’s always better to be prepared just in case. Stay safe out there!
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