FourSteps to Take After an Auto Accident

Whether you are a pickup truck enthusiast or a muscle car devotee, you love your vehicle. It gets you everywhere you need to go, and the process of getting there is a pure thrill. But no matter how experienced you are as a driver, there are times when things don’t go your way.

Millions of collisions happen per year. By keeping you safe in a crash, your vehicle does its job well. While the situation is definitely unfortunate, there are four things you can do to smooth out the post-accident process.

1) Check Yourself and Your Passengers for Injuries
Assess everyone in the vehicle for injuries. Regardless of how injured you and your passengers may feel, it is important to call 911 to get police assistance. If there are serious injuries, request an ambulance as well.
If you are not able to call 911, ask a bystander for help. Additionally, take a deep breath. It is important to try and stay calm in stressful situations.

2) Move to a Safe Location If Possible
Collisions can often create a domino effect, so it’s smart to try to prevent this if your vehicle is drivable and you are well enough to drive it. If your car is safe to drive and its current location is causing a potential risk, move the car to a safe place on the side of the road.

If you feel that moving the vehicle would put you or your passengers in danger, it is okay to leave it in its original place. While waiting for police assistance, simply turn off your engine and turn on your hazard lights.

3) Exchange Information and Document the Accident
Even if you feel that your accident was minor and all parties are being cooperative, it can still be beneficial to keep the police involved in the process. A police officer will help create an official report for both parties’ insurance companies, and it is valuable to have a third party assisting during such a stressful time. Avoid discussing fault and focus on discussing facts; an insurance adjuster will determine fault when inspecting the affected vehicles.

One of the most important things to do after an accident is to take thorough pictures of the damage to all involved cars. These photos will help insurance companies determine the severity and cost of the damage that was incurred. Taking photos of all involved license plates is also a good step to take. If you are injured an unable to take photos, ask for assistance.

When gathering contact information, don’t simply focus on the drivers and passengers of the affected vehicles. Witnesses can end up being incredibly useful, so collect their contact information if applicable.

4) Get Checked Out
If severe injuries occurred during the accident, go right to the hospital, as waiting around could cause things to worsen. When injuries are severe, it can be very helpful to seek legal representation. By contacting an accident and personal injury lawyer like Dennis Hernandez & Associates, you’ll have the advantage of an expert team that will fight for your compensation to cover lost wages, medical bills, and more.

Many drivers and passengers will get in auto accidents and feel completely fine afterwards. This feeling can be deceptive, as it is often a result of shock from the accident or astonishment about the damage that your vehicle sustained. Visit a doctor to get checked for symptoms of a concussion, as they can sometimes be subtle and may not appear right away. As always, it’s better to be safe than sorry!

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