Nobody desires to be in a road crash. But the fact is that accidents happen all too often, even to the best of drivers. As a petrolhead, knowing what to do is essential if you are involved in a road crash is essential. It gives you the best chance of protecting your legal rights and interests and helps ensure that the crash is appropriately investigated. Here are six tips on what to do if you’re involved in a road crash.
1. Stop and Exchange Details
Immediately after a road crash, it’s good to pick up information from the other driver/s involved. This includes your name, contact details, license plate number, and insurance information. If there are any witnesses to the crash, try to get their names and contact information.
In most cases, the police will not attend the scene of a minor crash. However, you can always call them if you feel that it is necessary. However, in some jurisdictions, it is mandatory to call the police if the crash results in injury, death, or property damage above a certain amount.
People make the mistake of proceeding with their journey without exchanging details with the other driver/s, especially if they are in a hurry. This is a huge mistake as it may result in a hit-and-run charge being filed against you. Even if the other driver refuses to exchange details with you, ensure you get their license plate number so you can provide it to the police later.
2. Get Medical Attention
If you or any passengers in your vehicle are injured, see a doctor as soon as possible. In some cases, injuries may not be immediately apparent, so it’s always best to get checked out by a medical professional. Even if you don’t feel like you need to go to the hospital, getting checked out by a doctor is always a good idea.
Not only is it essential to get any injuries treated, but getting medical attention also helps to create a record of the injuries sustained in the crash. This can be substantial evidence if you later decide to file a personal injury claim.
Often, the doctor will clearly show the long-term injuries that will bother you for the rest of your life. This means everything regarding calculating how much you should be compensated.
3. Contact a Lawyer
Car accident attorneys are experienced in dealing with all sorts of road crash cases and can give you the best chance of getting the compensation you deserve. They can also deal with the insurance companies on your behalf, which takes much of the stress out of the claims process.
Most personal injury lawyers in Newport Beach, California, work on a contingency basis, meaning they will only get paid if they win your case, and their fees will usually be a percentage of your compensation.
When finding an attorney, you need to focus on the experience factor. They should have handled many cases in court successfully. A Car Accident Lawyer winning cases in Newport Beach will have a reputation that can give you the necessary confidence in winning the case. In many cases, a top-notch lawyer will offer a consultation so that you can get an idea of whether or not they are a good fit for your case. Besides, meeting the lawyer in person gives you a better opportunity to ask any questions you may have.
Generally, there are many cases where the other driver’s insurance company will try to lowball you with an initial settlement offer. This is why it’s so important to have a lawyer on your side, as they will be able to negotiate a fair settlement on your behalf.
4. Document the Scene
If you have a camera with you, take photos of the crash scene. Be sure to take pictures of any damage to your vehicle and the other vehicles involved. It’s also a good idea to take photos of any injuries you or your passengers have sustained.
If there are any skid marks on the road, be sure to take photos of those as well. Skid marks can be crucial evidence in determining who is at fault for the crash. If possible, measure the skid marks to record their length accurately.
In addition to taking photos, it’s also a good idea to make a written record of everything that happened leading up to the crash. This includes what you were doing, where you were going, and how fast you traveled. Be sure to include any other relevant information, such as whether or not you were wearing a seatbelt.
5. Get Witness Statements
Be sure to get their contact information if there are witnesses to the crash. Witnesses can be crucial in helping to determine who is at fault for the crash. If possible, try to get a written statement from each witness detailing what they saw.
If you cannot get a witness statement at the crash scene, be sure to get the contact information of any witnesses so that you can follow up with them later.
Ask each witness to sketch what they saw to make the most of their statements. This can be helpful in jogging. Besides, a picture is worth a thousand words, as the saying goes. Understand primary body language to help you read between the lines, as some people may be hiding something.
6. Do Not Admit Fault
In the aftermath of a car accident, it’s natural to want to take responsibility for what happened. However, it’s essential to resist the urge to do so. Anything you say at the crash scene can be used against you later.
Even if you think the crash was partially or fully your fault, do not say so to the police or the other driver. If you’re asked whether or not you’re at fault, decline to answer the question. It’s best to let your lawyer handle any questions about the fault.
Your attorney will be able to investigate the crash and determine who was actually at fault. In many cases, it’s not as cut-and-dried as it may seem. There may have been factors that you weren’t aware of that contributed to the crash.
No one ever expects to be involved in a car accident. However, if you are involved in one, it’s essential to know how to handle the situation appropriately. These tips will help you ensure that you get the compensation that you deserve.
Disclaimer: This article is not legal advice. When in doubt, as this article highlighted, contact a lawyer.
Featured image by Netto Figueiredo from Pixabay.