It is estimated that there are over six million car accidents that happen in the United States every year. These often results in property damage and injuries. Here are some of the things that you need to do after a car accident to protect yourself and your interests.
As soon as that accident occurs, stop. Never leave the scene of an accident. Even if the accident seems minor, make sure that you stop. Even if you end up driving away after discussing the situation with other drivers and nothing else ends up happening, you have to make the initial effort to stop. You could be held legally responsible if you do not.
The next step is to protect the scene of the accident. This involves making sure that no one else gets hurt and that no other accidents occur. Put your flashers on and set up flares. If it is dark out and the lights are not working, use a flashlight or your cell phone to indicate to other drivers that your car is on the side of the road or disabled.
Call the police. It is a good idea to do this even if there are no serious injuries. One of the main reasons why you would call the police if no injuries occur is to be able to file a claim with your insurance company. Do not move your vehicle unless it interferes with traffic.
Start documenting what has occurred and gathering any evidence that may be used to help you in the future. Take pictures and exchange information with witnesses and the police officers who responded to the accident. This information is going to be necessary if legal action is required in the future to protect your interests. It will be helpful when you work with a motor vehicle accident lawyer.
If someone is injured in the accident, you should call an ambulance right away. Even if it seems like no one has been injured, it is still a good idea to seek medical attention. What often happens is that injuries are not apparent right after the accident. A day or two after the accident, an individual may start to feel pain, even if the accident was minor. Unfortunately, there have been many individuals who have sustained permanent injuries to their spinal cord without realizing it as soon as the accident was over.
You never want to exaggerate the situation, but you should constantly be on the defense and ready to protect yourself when you have been involved in an accident. Seek legal help from a motor vehicle accident lawyer as soon as possible. The lawyer will be able to guide you in making decisions on how to deal with your case.