As driving has become a way of life for vast sections of the population, car crashes are not an uncommon sight on various highways around the world. Despite constant improvements in car safety mechanisms, several thousand loose their life and limbs in car accidents daily. While no driver expects to be in a crash, it is helpful to know how to proceed should such an unfortunate event occur.
Remain at the scene
In the immediate aftermath of a car accident, you might see no need to stay at the scene, especially if you do not consider the accident serious. It is however important not to leave the scene, for a number of reasons, the most significant being that leaving the scene of an automobile accident is an offense punishable under the law. Beyond that, remaining at the scene enables you to exercise your rights with respect to a potential lawsuit. If you haven’t sustained any serious injuries, it will be necessary to document the scene as much as possible. Take photographs, approach witnesses, and exchange information with the other party or parties involved.
When a car crash occurs, it is not uncommon for the person responsible to employ various tactics in a bid to avoid punishment. They might start a conversation, looking to nudge you into making statements that may later discredit your claim. Or they might offer you an attractive deal on the spot to dissuade you from filing a claim. As you have no legal obligation to speak to the responsible party or their insurance company, be confident in rejecting all such attempts.
Involve the police
Next to documenting the scene of the accident yourself, calling the police is your best chance of strengthening your case. A police report acts as professional documentation of what happened and is likely to contain clear evidence of who’s responsible. Even if the accident is a minor one, you’re required to call the police if your car has been damaged or you suspect the other party to be in violation of other laws, such as driving under the influence.
Get a lawyer
Sometimes, compensation following a car crash is handled by insurance adjusters and claims attorneys. Other times, lawyers need to be involved. If you’ve suffered significant physical or material damage as a result of a car accident, it is advisable to contact an injury lawyer as soon as possible. Some cities have more of this type of lawyer than others. It is easier to get car accident lawyers in Detroit, for instance, due to the high number of crashes that occur there. However, police or the local yellow pages should be able to lead you to car accident lawyers in your location.
As accidents usually happen without warning, it might be difficult to get your thoughts together in the immediate aftermath. Knowing the right things to do and say in the moment will save you a lot of stress down the line, particularly if you’ve been involved in a serious crash.