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According to the latest statistics from Statista, in 2019, approximately 12.15 million vehicles were involved in crashes on roads in the U.S.
So, even if you’re the most vigilant of drivers, you could potentially be involved in a traffic accident one day. Therefore, it’s important that you know what to do should you find yourself involved in a car accident.
Here are the crucial steps you need to take.
Before looking at the steps to take, it’s worth mentioning that if you’re injured in a car accident that isn’t your fault, you have the right to get appropriate compensation.
By getting an experienced attorney on board, such as a Chicago car accident lawyer from Abels & Annes law firm, you can get professional assistance in helping you to claim for things like medical expenses, lost earnings, and pain and suffering.
Now, let’s find out what to do immediately after being involved in a car accident.
First things first. You need to check yourself and any passengers for visible injuries.
If anyone in your car or the other vehicle involved in the crash is hurt, you should call emergency services or ask someone at the scene to call on your behalf.
However, if you or any parties involved in the accident are seriously injured, don’t move. Wait for help to arrive.
If you’re not seriously injured and are able to move, you should get your car off the road, to ensure no further accidents happen. If you can, move your car to the shoulder so that it’s out of the way of oncoming vehicles.
And if the accident happens at night, make sure you turn on your hazard lights so that other drivers can see you.
You need to exchange your information with the other driver or drivers involved in the accident.
State laws differ from one state to another regarding the information you’re expected to exchange at the scene of a car accident, so make sure you know what the rules are for the state you’re in.
Generally, you should always exchange names and insurance information. You should also aim to get information like the other driver’s contact details, the make and model of his or her vehicle, and the contact information of any witnesses.
As long as you’re not seriously injured, you should assess and record the damage to your car and the other vehicle involved in the accident.
To help your insurance claim and personal injury claim, you should take lots of detailed photos of the vehicles, the license plates of the vehicles, the damage caused to the vehicles, and the wider accident scene that shows the positions of the vehicles.
When you're involved in a serious car accident, you should call local law enforcement. This can be beneficial when you need to make an insurance claim or a personal injury claim because the police report can be used as evidence. If the collision happens in Texas, you can search for the TX crash report online. All you need is the incident's date, ZIP code, and your car's VIN.
Even if you don’t have any noticeable injuries, you should still get yourself checked out by a doctor or another medical professional after being involved in a car accident.
That’s because some injuries aren’t visible. For instance, you could have internal bleeding and be unaware of it. Always err on the side of caution and get yourself checked out.
Lastly, you need to contact your insurance company to inform them of the accident. If the accident wasn’t your fault and you sustained injuries, you should also contact a lawyer who can help you gain compensation.