Every year, more than six million automobile accidents take place in the United States. About 70% involve only property damage. However, about 30% result in injuries and 20% of those result in fatalities.
So, what do you need to know if you or a loved one is seriously injured in a motor vehicle accident?
This list of ten things to do after an accident is a good starting point:
1. Don’t Move
Stay put even it’s a small accident. The vehicles involved should not be moved unless they are blocking traffic.
2. Preserve the Incident Location
Limit the damages. Set flares or use car flashers to warn other drivers. Keep a flashlight in your car for such emergencies.
3. Notify the Authorities
Regardless of injuries, contact the police. Insurance companies often expect to receive police reports as part of the claims process.
4. Provide a Truthful Information
Provide pertinent details to the investigating officer but don’t guess at any answers. If asked about injuries and you’re not certain, just state that.
Take pictures of the scene along with any detectable damage or injuries but don’t get in the way of the authorities.
6. Exchange information
If police are present, they will record all information and give you a report number. Later, you can secure the report. If police aren’t there, you should record names, addresses, phone numbers, and the other driver’s insurance details. Locate witnesses and secure their information. Your lawyer will want to make contact later.
7. Inform your insurance company
Contact your insurance company right away. Some insurance companies make that a requirement. Do you have medical benefits (“Medpay”). If so, use them. After those benefits are exhausted, private health insurance may kick in. (Medpay benefits can be used by passengers too).
8. Check Yourself Out
Are you OK? Some injuries don’t show up right away. It often takes a day or two for symptoms to appear. Play it safe and see your family doctor or stop at the local emergency facility. Serious injuries can result from even minor impact car wrecks.
9. Be organized
Keep all of the following in a safe place: claim number, claim adjuster’s name and contact information, phone numbers of all involved, rental car receipt, and any other costs associated with the incident.
10. Contact an attorney
Perhaps most importantly, contact an experienced car accident lawyer in the area where the accident occurred. He or she can make sure that your rights are protected and that valuable evidence is preserved. Though insurance companies generally want to take statements immediately following an accident, it’s wise to seek out an accident attorney before making a statement. That way you will be advised about how to secure complete payment for your vehicle and receive the proper medical treatment. Personal injury attorneys are hired on a contingency fee basis so you won’t be paying anything unless your lawyer secures a monetary compensation for your injuries.
This article was submitted by Pacific Attorney Group. If your car wreck occurred in the Los Angeles area please contact them for a free consultation.