While every driver wants to remain safe on the road, unfortunately, accidents do happen. If you find yourself a victim of a traffic accident, it’s important to know what to do. While your priority should always be safety, there are several steps you can and should take to ensure that you’re remaining safe and calm until the police arrive. Knowing what to do in case of an accident can make the process feel less overwhelming and may even ensure the safety of you and those around you as well. Follow these tips in case of an accident to ensure that you’re doing everything possible to minimize the collision’s impact.
The first step in any vehicle accident is to check yourself and those in your car for injuries. Though it may be difficult, the best thing you can do is remain calm and as level-headed as possible. Call 911 immediately, and the dispatcher will be able to guide you through the next steps and send medical and police help to the accident scene. Even if you only have a minor accident, it’s best to call 911. The dispatcher will likely ask pertinent questions and will be able to appropriately assess if a police presence or cleanup crew is necessary.
After the police have been notified, it may be time to assess the damage done to your vehicle. If you haven’t sustained any injuries and your car’s damage is relatively minimal, you may move your car to the side of the road to minimize traffic disruption. However, if you or anyone in the car is injured, wait for medical help before attempting to move the vehicle. If it’s safe and possible to do so, take pictures of your car from all angles. Insurance companies often need proof of an accident, and these photos may make it easier to make a claim.
Collect Information From the Other Driver
If there is another driver involved in the accident, you will need to collect their information. Name, phone number, and address are all important to get. Then you’ll want to take a photo of their license and car insurance card, as well as note down their vehicle ID number and license plate. This information will be useful during the insurance claims process, as it’s highly likely that your insurance will have to communicate with theirs to settle disputes.
Collect Information From Witnesses
Especially if the accident caused significant damage or injury, it’s good to collect witness information. Name, phone number, and address are usually sufficient and will allow your insurance company to better understand what happened and who is at fault for the damages. Witnesses are not always necessary, so if no one was around or no one stopped to offer, it’s not the end of the world.
Call a Personal Injury Lawyer
After everything else is taken care of and you’ve collected appropriate information, get to a secure location, and call a personal injury lawyer. A professional car accident attorney will be able to advise you on the next steps in the process. There are many expenses that insurance companies should cover, and your lawyer will ensure that those expenses are appropriately paid. These include car repair bills, medical expenses, loss of earnings or capital from missed work, and emotional compensation. Not every accident victim is entitled to all these forms of compensation, but having a lawyer ensures that you receive what is appropriately owed to you. Many insurance companies will do their best to avoid paying; having a lawyer holds them accountable.
Though accidents are often jarring, you can ensure that the resulting process runs smoothly with the right plan of action. The biggest advantage you can give yourself is hiring an expert car accident attorney who will ensure that you are not taken advantage of by the insurance system or the other driver. You should not try to navigate the legal battle following a car accident alone.
For the best personal injury and car accident attorneys in Orange County, contact Easton & Easton’s offices. We offer free consultations and will be able to assess your situation with you without any financial investment on your part. With a stellar track record for winning personal injury cases and some of the best attorneys in Southern California, no one gives you more security and peace of mind after a car accident than Easton & Easton. Our team is passionate about seeking reparations for accident victims and will work tirelessly to ensure that you receive the compensation you deserve. Call us today to get started.