What You Should Do After You Have Had a Car Accident

What You Should Do After You Have Had a Car Accident

What You Should Do After You Have Had a Car Accident

Car accidents are one of the most traumatic experiences in life, even if you haven’t suffered even one scratch.

When the accident happens even if you’re not involved, a million thoughts pop up, for instance, Who caused the accident? Did anybody call the ambulance or police? How many people are in the car? Is there an elder or a child? But, our first concern is if anybody got hurt.

If this is the case, what to do first? Before that, how can you be sure the accident site is safe? If not, what should you do?

And if it is safe, should you call the ambulance first or give first aid?

Of course, there are many concerns during the accident and after it. This happens because when emergency measures are taken, there's still the need to deal with the damage caused by the accident, such as medical costs, insurance, and lawsuit. You might need to contact a car accident injury lawyer if you have been injured in the accident. Not every car crash is major, most of them can be resolved in the location, which doesn't mean it's easy to handle.

Our first advice is to never get into a roadside argument about who’s to blame! Right after the accident, the emotions are high because of the unexpected event. There are some good practices on what to do after a car accident, being it a major or a minor one, and the best way to proceed in each case. Stick to our article to learn 5 steps so you can be as prepared as possible.

1. Prioritize safety

Make sure you and others are well and conduct quick diligence to know if someone got hurt.

It’s an extremely traumatic and scary event, feelings like guilt, fear, and shock are completely normal. The first instinct a lot of people get might be to leave the accident scene, but DON’T DO THAT! Even a minor accident needs to be handled with responsibility and calm to make sure everything will be solved in the best way for everyone involved.

Take as many deep breaths as you need so you can prepare yourself to handle the situation.

2. Take yourself and others out of danger

When it’s a minor accident, take your vehicle out of the scene, to prevent another accident (crashes and collisions) on the road or highway. Signpost the accident site warns other drivers passing by to slow down.

If it’s a major accident, the scene can be a tricky place for anyone to stay in, especially if there is the risk of explosions, and scattered shards of glass. So don’t even think about taking your vehicle out of the road.

In both cases, leave the scene and if there’re elders, kids, and disabled people make sure they leave too.

3. Call an Ambulance or the Police

Even if you or the people involved in the car accident only had some soft injuries like cuts and scratches, medical assistance is essential to make sure everyone is well. Call 911 or fire and rescue.

Another important thing is to keep calm and call law enforcement to get an official report so you can claim your insurance company.

Relate everything you know about the accident and don’t speculate or make up information, make sure the statements of others involved in the accident are accurate too.

4. Collect information and document the accident

Right about now, you followed all the steps to make sure you, your loved ones, and everyone involved is safe. It’s time to think about the next steps.

Is critical that you document everything you possibly can with pictures, audio recorder, driver’s license number of everyone involved in the scene, address, and insurance policy number.

It might be possible some people have witnessed, so write down their names, phone numbers too, and all the vehicle information you can get such as color, type, and model.

All of this information will help you to tell your story, so make sure the picture catches multiple angles, objects in the scene, scale, and everything you think is necessary.

5. Call the insurance company as soon as possible

Do not make deals with the people involved in the accident to avoid bureaucracy, it’s risky and you might end up having to bear all the costs alone.

Contact your insurance company and find out what documents they’ll need to give your insurer. Nowadays, most insurance companies have mobile apps that can help you to get all the information you need and start the process. If you have suffered an injury and or losses in the accident you may require claim assistance from a personal injury lawyer Perth.

Some statistics about car crashes and their fatalities

In 2019, traffic deaths decreased by 2% compared to the year before, going from 36,835 to 36,096 fatalities, despite the vehicle miles traveled (VMT) having increased by 0,8 %, according to NHTSA the U.S. government entity responsible for highway traffiic safety.

Unfortunately, since the COVID-19 pandemic started, risky driving behavior such as driving without a seatbelt, distracted driving, speeding, and others have increased.

According to NHTSA, around 38,824 lives were lost in traffic crashes in 2020, the highest number of fatalities since 2007, despite the VMT has decreased by 11% compared to the year before, in which 45% of the fatalities the drivers were engaged in at least one of the risky behaviors already mentioned.

This increase in fatalities rate is directly related to the higher fatality rates on rural local or collector, arterial, and interstate roadways during the first half of 2020. Those are scary numbers if compared to the year 2019, which was just showing a decrease in the fatalities percentage, demonstrating how the pandemic also affected the safety on the road.

This year, the NHTSA released an early estimated traffic fatality, projecting that about 42,915 people died in motor vehicle traffic crashes, an increase of 10,1 % compared to the year before. This estimative is extremely warning and startling and is considered the largest annual percentage increase in the Fatality Analysis Reporting System’s (FARS) history