10 Things You Need to Do After an Auto Accident In The Aiken Area
What You Need to Do After a Car Crash
Every year, six million auto accidents occur nationally, and a third of them result in serious injury and another 20 percent result in fatalities. Although you may drive obeying the rules of the road, the chances are you will have an accident at some point in your lifetime. Knowing how to drive proactively is an excellent way to avoid being involved in a traffic crash. Knowing what to do after an accident is equally important. Let us look at the top 10 things you need to do after you are involved in a collision.
Stay at the Scene of the Accident
Leaving the scene of an accident is a crime. If you leave, you will be subject to fines and possibly jail time. It does not matter if you believe no damage was done. Likewise, if the vehicle was parked and no one was around when the accident occurred, you are still obligated to leave your contact information by tucking it under the windshield wiper.
Call the Police
If you are hurt or if someone else was injured in the crash, call 911 for an ambulance. Otherwise, call the police and report the accident. Once law enforcement arrives at the scene, they will examine the crash and write up a formal report. It is important to obtain a copy of the report if possible. It will assign fault, and if another driver caused the accident, it will mention it.
Also, if the reason for the accident was due to a driver being inebriated or another type of reckless driving, the report will cite the motorist. A citation will help you prove negligence to the insurance company and in a legal claim against the at-fault driver.
Be Proactive While Waiting for the Police to Arrive
Let other drivers know you had an accident. On a busy highway where vehicles are moving at a fast pace, it is risky to sit in the middle of the highway with vehicles whizzing by. Turn on your flashers and hang a large white cloth outside your window. If it is possible to pull over to the side of the road, do so with caution.
Let the Police Know What Happened
While you are waiting for the police to arrive, think about what happened in the car accident. It is important to present the facts of the case to the police in a clear and concise manner. Don’t guess when the police ask questions about what happened. If you are unsure, say so.
Guessing is counterproductive. The police may ask if you were injured. Once again, answer this question honestly. Some people do not feel pain until the next day, or in some cases such as whiplash, for 72 hours or more. Saying you are fine may come back to haunt you. Just tell the truth at the moment.
While you are waiting for the police to arrive, and if it is safe to do so, obtain the contact information of other drivers. This includes their names, telephone numbers, addresses, license and insurance information. Get the names and contact information of witnesses too.
Refrain from talking about the accident. Even a stray comment can be problematic later on. Above all, do not say you are sorry the accident occurred, even if you are. This might be construed as an apology and an admission of fault.
A Picture Is a Thousand Words
It is important to take pictures of the location where the accident occurred. Also, photographing damage to and placement of the vehicles involved in the accident is critical. If you are injured, take a photo. If road conditions are poor, such as the presence of potholes or poorly maintained foliage obscuring signage, photograph that too.
Call Your Insurer
Most insurance companies require that you report an accident as soon as possible. Give your insurer a call, and let them know an accident occurred. Be brief and complete, but you are not required to guess at answers or give them information you do not have. You are also not required to provide a recorded statement. Your attorney can speak to the insurance company in your place.
Seek Medical Evaluation
It is important to keep a file of all important documents relating to the accident. This includes the police report and/or the officer’s name. Keep a receipt for the emergency room or doctor’s fee as well as any prescriptions you received. If you had to take an Uber to the doctor, keep the receipt. Any medical reports should be filed away carefully.
Maintain a Document File
In the immediate time after an accident, the stress of the moment might override any symptoms. This illusion will not last. It is best to see a medical professional and have a baseline evaluation. The doctor will be able to tell you what to look out for in the days ahead.
Protect Your Rights With Morris Law
After a car accident, your days will be occupied with medical issues, trying to fix your vehicle, and checking with your employer for time off due to your injuries. With all this going on, you may not have the time to protect your rights. That is where Morris Law can help.
Our attorneys make sure that evidence is unearthed that proves liability and does so before it is lost. We speak to the insurer and obtain medical information that will show the nature and seriousness of your injuries. Once the evidence is gathered, we use it to build a strong case for our clients. Call us at (803) 470-4444 to schedule a free consultation. You can also reach us online. We will be by your side every step of the way and ensure that you receive the compensation you deserve.