Regardless of how well or safe a person drives, there is always a chance of having a car accident. No one likes to think about this, however, the first thing to do is be as cool and collected as possible. This can be accomplished with some preparation beforehand. It is obviously traumatic, however, the ordeal will be much easier to handle if you consider the tips below and have certain things on hand, should a car accident occur.
1. Safety. The first and most important consideration is your safety and that of others. Move the vehicles to the side of the road if possible. Turn on the hazard lights of each vehicle so that other drivers can avoid the scene. To the extent you are able, check to make sure that passengers in your car and the other vehicle are alright. Call 911 immediately if it seems like someone could be seriously injured. Ensure that you carry an emergency kit in the car at all times that includes medical first aid items. Also have flairs, a blanket, water, flashlight and other essentials handy.
2. Accident Details. Once you have the car safely out of the way and ensured everyone’s safety, record what has occurred with a cell phone or other device. It is good to do this with both photos and video if possible. Then write down notes pertaining to the time of day, where you were traveling and how the accident occurred to your knowledge.
3. Witnesses. If anyone stops who may have seen anything, find out if they can stay until the police get there. Also take down notes about what they say they have seen, as well as all of their pertinent contact information.
4. Factual Evidence. It is very important to get all of the names, telephone numbers, addresses and insurance information from the other parties and provide yours to them. Doing this right away is also important in case any of the other parties should leave the scene before the police arrive. Write down information and take photos of the other vehicles involved and their license plate numbers. Also obtain the vehicle identification numbers in addition to all license plate numbers.
5. Following up. Ensure that a police report is filed and that you obtain a copy of it. Before filing an insurance claim, it is recommended that you contact a lawyer first to help you navigate the process. A prominent auto accident lawyer in West Palm Beach FL states that, “The Insurance Research Council reported that auto accident victims who had a lawyer, on average, received 3 ½ times more money than if they went it alone.” Though you are a client of the insurance company, keep in mind that they will be trying to minimize costs as much as possible. Having an attorney can help to ensure that you receive all that is necessary to recoup and repair damages. Ensure that you seek follow-up medical attention and do all that is recommended, including physical and mental therapy as may be necessary.
Having a car accident is not something anyone wants to even think about. However, taking some time to prepare for the possibility could provide peace of mind in knowing that if one should occur, you will have the necessary information to process a claim. If you or someone you know should become involved in a car accident, be sure to first make note of all of the facts. Contact a competent personal injury lawyer as soon as possible to ensure that your rights are protected and to recover damages for medical bills, repair costs, loss of income and other expenses.
Nickey Williams is an educator and writer from Mobile, Alabama. Steinger, Iscoe & Greene has an auto accident lawyer in West Palm Beach available day or night to explain your rights and options. They will help you get back on your feet and deal with the insurance company on your behalf.
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