Don’t Forget These 9 Critical Follow-Up Tasks After a Car Accident!
You simply can’t predict a car accident even if you try to, and this is the main reason why you should know what to do if you get involved in one. This can help you have a much easier time in the end as you won’t have a hard time figuring out the help that you need to get. One of the main things that you need to do is to find a reliable motor vehicle accident attorney to help you. Local lawyers for car accidents are some of the best people to call for help as they’re typically experienced and can help you get a hassle-free process.
Whether you need a minor car accident attorney or another specific professional, you can find one on the internet easily enough. Simply search using terms like “lawyer for car accident not at fault” or “no injury car accident lawyer near me.” In this case, all you need to do is to make sure that the professional you hire has a good track record of getting fair outcomes for their clients. This can make it less stressful for you to go through the process because you’ll be confident in the fact that you’re in good hands.
Anyone involved in a car accident will tell you how messy and distressing the experience is. You get the inconvenience of cutting short your plans and accruing repair costs in one brief moment. A car accident puts you and others in legal problems and, even in worst-case scenarios, creates health complications. And that is not all.
Being involved in a car accident does not necessarily end at the scene right after the crash. Sometimes, the repercussions linger on, further causing damage, financially and emotionally. Many people have had to quit their jobs to nurse injuries acquired through accidents, while others have lost their vehicles to such incidents.
While one can’t prepare for an accident, knowing what to do when involved in one reduces damage and could save you from loss. That’s where follow-up tasks after a car accident come in. Practicing proper follow-up tasks after you’re involved in a car accident could be the only chance you have to save a bad situation from worsening.
1. Important Follow-Up Tasks After a Car Accident
Warn Other Drivers: Suppose you’re driving on a busy road and suddenly come across a stalled vehicle. The most impulsive thing is to brake hard or swerve off the road. You’ll be lucky enough if you miss hitting the stalled vehicle from behind and even luckier to escape without a scratch on your prized vehicle. We, however, know how tricky that is, especially if you have farsightedness, are using contact lenses, or any other visual challenge. Failure to see a stalled car increases your chance of crashing into it.
Now, imagine the same scenario, but in this case, the driver of the stalled vehicle understands the importance of safe follow-up tasks after a car accident. This wise driver parks his vehicle aside and has his hazards on. You can tell they’re not moving from a distance and approach them cautiously, preventing a crash.
The best reaction to an accident is this: caution other road users. While accidents are chaotic, leaving you with too many emotions to handle, putting on warning signs will save you and your car from further damage. Using as many warning bells as possible is advisable to alert approaching drivers from as far as possible. Where your car is unmovable, put on your hazards and move to a safe spot on the side of the road. If an accident occurs at night, use flashlights to keep others from crashing into you.
2. Gather and Exchange Information
It’s human to panic when your car is involved in a road accident. First, your brain has to process the situation from a smooth-flowing, planned day to the confusion of an abrupt change of plans. Secondly, the impact of a car accident disorients your train of thought, making it hard to take your environment in.
However, much of this is understandable; many drivers regret it later when they can’t remember important details of the accident. Gathering as much information as possible is an important follow-up task after a car accident, especially when you want to get legal problems off your plate.
If the authorities ask, you’ll want to know the other car’s type, color, and model. You’ll need to know the other drivers’ full names and contact details for follow-up, especially in pursuing insurance and legal cases. Their driver’s license, license plate number, insurance service provider, and other supporting documents will be helpful if you need to involve the authorities. And while at it, it’s common decency to share your information with the other party.
3. Do A Health Check-Up
The number of people who walk away from accident scenes feeling okay but end up with complications is unbelievable! Due to the instant shock occurring right after a car accident, your brain fogs and numbs other feelings in your body. This is how people realize they’ve been hurt long after the incident and, in the process, spend resources seeking late treatment.
Despite the confusion, and the damage your car gets, your health, that of your passengers, or even the other driver, should come first. After parking safely, check on your health and those involved. It’s possible to feel alright, with adrenaline naturally pumping through your veins, but make no mistake about overlooking typical accident injuries, such as soft tissue injuries such as whiplash.
Identifying those early prevents long-term complications and saves you possible medical bills. Early detection of injuries helps you get the correct medical care. You can contact your corrective chiropractic care specialist if the need arises. A quick health inventory allows you to involve the nearest health service provider. Apart from helping you recover quickly, this also grants you important medical documentation, which you can later use as evidence for the incident. You can also use it for medical insurance should you need to consult your physical therapists.
4. Inform The Authorities
When asked why they didn’t involve local authorities, most drivers claim their accident was too minor to cause much trouble. They then regret it and wish they’d called the nearest police station. You, too, might want to settle matters fast with other drivers to proceed with your day as soon as possible. However, skipping this important follow-up task after your car accident will invite irreversible trouble. Contrary to what you may feel, you need to have local law enforcement at the scene as fast as possible. Here’s why.
Regardless of who’s wrong, the other driver may fail to cooperate, either choosing to drive away or engaging you in an argument. This could easily turn nasty and get you into further trouble. The police presence signifies law and order, making both parties orderly, which helps resolve the matter faster.
Bringing in the authorities leads to a police report that you’ll find useful should you need to engage your insurance services provider. Assume an incident where you assess the damage after an accident, find it minor, and drive away only to discover an injury the day after. You will want to contact your personal injury lawyer for insurance coverage to seek treatment.
How will they convince your insurance provider that you were involved in an accident or the injuries directly resulting from it? The police report proves the incident, opening doors more easily when seeking insurance for your car repair. Additionally, the police may help control traffic, especially if your car is immobile, helping prevent more crashes. They can also assist in different ways to get people to a health facility in case of severe injuries.
5. Assess Your Vehicle’s Damage
Regardless of the damage your car gets during an accident, having it checked ensures your safety when it’s back on the road. That’s why a thorough assessment of your car is a critical follow-up task after a car accident. Like your body, your car may have taken minor hits on delicate parts that could flare up into huge problems if left unattended.
You want to know the services to seek to restore your car and can only do so by understanding how bad or little the damage is. A quick look-through should tell you whether to engage the nearest auto collision repair services or to move on. In case of damage, to make your car look as new as before the accident, communicate its status to your most available local auto detailing dealer.
Checking and recording the depth of the damage is necessary should you need to pursue compensation. Assuming that your insurance service provider will support your claims without proof is a huge mistake motorists make. Failure to assess may make you miss out on minute but important details like the need for auto brake repairs.
6. Document the Incident
In this era where we all have gadgets, and with the unending consumption of all forms of information over the internet, it’s common for people to flash out their smartphones and capture happenings around them. You probably have been tempted to record an incident from strangers to share it with others. However, confusion following your car accident throws your mind off track, and recording it may be the last thing on your mind.
However, this is your best time to flash your gadget and capture as much of the scene as possible. Take as many clear pictures and videos as possible to visually and accurately document the incident. Capture the position of the involved cars, the angles at which they touch, and even the distance from each other, tangible evidence you’ll use should you engage in legal follow-up after the accident. Where possible, capture the audio of conversations that follow the accidents, as they can later reveal vital information your brain skips during its foggy moment.
This documentation, a key follow-up task after an accident, makes it easier to settle disputes. Local authorities, your insurance, and even your car accident lawyer can use it to determine the cause of the incident and can sometimes tell who was wrong.
7. Call Your Legal Representative
Many motorists have made a grave mistake of handling matters alone in car accidents they assumed were minor. For most, engaging legal help looks expensive, especially when there isn’t notable health or car damage. These motorists fail to understand they’re not in a sound mental state to make sound decisions about the accident right after it occurs. They overlook the need for a professional ally by their side.
You can’t afford to make this mistake. Contacting your auto accident attorneys is a necessary follow-up task after a car accident, especially where liability is an issue. They’ll act as the negotiator between you and the other party, helping you avoid a legal mess that could drain your resources. For starters, having legal representation is proof against telling the other driver anything that could incriminate you in case of legal proceedings. Your lawyer also helps you collect necessary evidence of the scene to make a strong case should the need arise.
Being their forte, a personal injury lawyer at the scene will communicate with your healthcare providers to obtain missing records. They will arrange the findings of the accident, helping you make a strong claim from your insurance.
8. Practice Patience
Did you know you could easily face charges for hitting and running after innocently leaving an accident scene? No matter how innocent or unhurt you are, leaving the scene looks like fleeing and helps involved parties to build a strong case around you. Motorists, often acting out of panic, fear, or even confusion, have regretted this move after dealing with cases they couldn’t shake off.
You might be tempted to ignore this important follow-up task after your car accident, especially if no one is hurt and there isn’t notable damage to the cars. Don’t give in to this temptation. Having the police chase or search for you makes you look guilty. It also opens a window for the other driver to press charges against you, draining your resources.
After checking and ensuring that no one needs medical attention, sit still and await the authorities’ clearance. Apart from clearing your name from fulfilling your legal obligations, this patience saves you resources since you can close the matter there and then. Your presence provides your legal representative and the authorities with the information they need to offer a solution.
9. Avoid Confrontation
It’s laughable, common, but wrong occurrence to witness motorists exchange angry words and even attempt to fight after crashing into each other’s car. Only, at any moment, engage the other party to gather the necessary information. This is a priceless follow-up task after a car accident that’s easy to dismiss.
It’s agreeably tempting to confront the other driver, especially when you feel they are at fault. However, doing so could escalate things quickly, ruining your chances of walking away clean. First, you have slim chances of winning the argument, since all sides want to emerge innocent and move on. Secondly, it’s not your field of expertise to settle liability disputes, and attempting to do so could pitch you against an expert, making you lose even more.
Engaging the other driver could still work against you, even when you’re not confrontational. A quick and genuine apology might be interpreted as admitting a fault. Appearing too friendly to them could be mistaken for overcompensation. Again, working against you. The safest thing to do is sit still and wait for your car accident lawyer. They will talk to the other party without contradicting you and even argue about the best liability and insurance options on your behalf.
The follow-up tasks you adopt after a car accident determine how things will go. While the situation could get hazy, prompting you to act without much thought, the tips herein should help you avoid complicated repercussions. From getting the best compensation from your insurer to preventing further damage to your car, knowing them minimizes the risk of charges and assures you of a quick resolution. It’s advisable to have the contact details of your legal representative, insurer, and medical service provider within reach for them to get to work.