With approximately six million car accidents in the US each year, the chances of finding oneself involved in some kind of accident are worryingly high. Even with smart and sensible driving, it’s always possible that you might find yourself in the wrong place at the wrong time, endangered by the reckless or negligent actions of another road user. (Image Credit: Halayalex/Freepik)
Of course, careful driving can help to have a huge impact on reducing your risks of getting into an accident, but there are some situations that simply can’t be avoided. If you do find yourself in an accident, you need to know what to do in the aftermath, as well as what not to do, in order to stay safe and give yourself the best chance of successful insurance or legal claim.
This guide will take a closer look at what to do after an accident, covering all the basics and pointing out some key mistakes you’ll definitely want to avoid as well! It’s easy to panic or stresses out after a collision, but bear these tips in mind and keep calm to make the right choices.
Do: Seek Medical Attention Immediately
After an accident, the priority for drivers, passengers, and anyone else involved in the accident should be their health and safety. It’s vital to get to a hospital or doctor as soon as possible to get the medical aid you need, and this rule applies even if you don’t feel any serious pain or notice any major injuries.
Car accident injuries like whiplash can be very nasty to deal with and may get worse with time, especially if left undiagnosed and untreated, so it’s vital to get the care you need right away. What’s more, getting yourself to a hospital may also be a useful step later on when it comes to proving to insurance companies that you were injured in the accident and acted responsibly.
Don’t: Admit to Anything
When it comes to admissions and statements after an accident, there’s one golden rule to follow: never admit fault after a car accident. As soon as you admit fault, you put yourself in a much more difficult position in regard to getting a successful insurance payout or winning any kind of legal dispute that may arise in the aftermath.
Even if you feel partly responsible for the accident, it’s never a good idea to admit fault straight away, without knowing all the facts and consulting with a lawyer. Perhaps you felt like you got distracted while driving and caused the accident, but you might not be aware that the other driver was under the influence or looking at their phone at the same time.
Do: Follow Medical Advice
Up above, we spoke about the importance of seeing a doctor and getting medical treatment for any injuries you might have suffered in the accident, but you shouldn’t stop there. A doctor will usually prescribe some medication or make some recommendations to help you recover, and you should follow their advice all the way.
Not only will this help you recover more quickly and avoid exacerbating your injuries, but it will also put you in a stronger position legally. Insurance adjusters and opposing legal teams will be looking for ways to catch you out, and if they see that you aren’t following the doctor’s orders, they could argue that you aren’t as injured as you say you are.
After seeking medical help for any injuries sustained during an accident, you might find that your doctor recommends strict bed rest or instructs you to follow certain safety protocols to minimize the risk of any further issues or injury.
Don’t: Go It Alone
It might be tempting to think that you can deal with insurance adjusters on your own and handle any legal cases that arise, especially if you feel that you’ve done nothing wrong and have faith injustice to prevail. Unfortunately, many perfectly innocent car crash victims can find themselves presented with wild accusations or unfair settlement offers.
A car accident lawyer will be able to help you successfully negotiate this difficult time, informing you of your rights, collecting evidence, using documentation and witness statements in your favor, and generally helping you get the best possible result, as well as preventing you from making any costly mistakes.
Car accidents can be quite stressful and panic-inducing situations, and even if you aren’t physically injured, the costs can quickly start to add up if you don’t act quickly or correctly. Keep these tips in mind to make the right decisions if an accident occurs.