Ever got involved in an accident? How did you handle it? Accidents happen on our roads and in our workplaces, homes, and other habitable areas. However, the most commonly witnessed and devastating accidents that happen are road accidents. With the rising number of motor vehicles, reckless drivers, and other reasons, there has been an increase in road accidents. How you handle a road accident dramatically determines how you get the most out of it. Which are the ways to handle a road accident? This article will discuss the eight stipulated steps you need to take to protect your interests and increase your chances of compensation after getting involved in an accident. Here are the steps.
Step 1: Stop and check for injuries
Most drivers, after getting into an accident, usually panic, not knowing what to do. Some will speed off, especially if they don’t know who caused the accident. The wisest thing you can do after getting involved in a road accident is to stop your vehicle, get out and look for injuries. Speeding off or leaving the accident scene is against the law and greatly diminishes your chances of compensation, even when you didn’t cause the accident. After stopping, you need to check if you or your passengers are injured. If anyone at the accident scene gets severe injuries, it’s advisable to call for emergency personnel, informing them of the accident and the injuries.
Step 2: Move to a safer location and contact the police
When you are not seriously injured, you need to get out of your vehicle, together with the passengers, to a safer place. You can move to the sides of the roads or the walkaways to avoid injuries caused by subsequent accidents. It is also essential to put on flares or hazards to warn oncoming motorists of the accident scene. Do not move your vehicle and if it’s a must to do so, take pictures of the actual accident scene before moving them. Once in a safe place, call 911 and report the accident, giving details of its location and the injuries. Calling the police is paramount, regardless of the extent of the accident. Even if the police don’t come, they will advise you to visit the station for a police report.
Step 3: Document the accident scene
Whether the police get to the accident scene or not, you need to take details of the accident scene. This process involves taking elements of the accident scene by recording videos, taking pictures, and talking to witnesses. Why is this important? As stated at www.brookslawgroup.com, such details are essential for your interests and your compensation case. The insurance company and the court of law will require proof showing how and when the accident occurred. Without these details, you might end up with a weaker case with no compensation. Other points to note include the location, road condition, the positioning of the cars after the accident, hits on collision, and the weather situation at that particular moment. Ensure the details are stored safely or handed to your lawyer for safekeeping.
Step 4: Get details from the other driver
Sometimes, the driver at fault may signal to settle the matter between you two. They might require you to accept the little compensation they might have to cover the damages caused by the misfortune. That won’t be appropriate. The only conversation you should have with the driver is exchanging your details. You will need to gather their information and them to take yours. Such reports include the driver and their passengers’ names, insurance policy, license plate numbers, vehicle make and model, location, eyewitnesses, phone number, and any other details that will be necessary in representing your case. Besides this, you need to get information about the police officers attending the accident scene, including their name and badge number.
Step 5: Contact your insurance company
After checking to the hospital and getting a nod from your doctor that you are okay, it’s time now to contact your insurance company. This step is essential even when you are not at fault for causing the accident. You could call them from the accident scene if you didn’t suffer any injuries. Most insurance companies will need an accident number from a police report. This situation means you will have to wait until it’s processed. When you didn’t cause the accident, the insurance company will guide you on the steps to take, including calling the driver-at-fault insurance company to ask them to process your claims. It would be best not to rush calling the other insurance company before getting a nod from your company, as this might affect your policy.
Step 6: Contact your lawyer
Accidents cause many inconveniences, including getting bedridden, suffering substantial medical costs, and suffering other inconveniences that may make you not follow your compensation case promptly. At times, the case can be so complicated that you can’t handle it well. If you are injured, whether by your fault or someone’s fault, you need to call a competent attorney to handle your case. Contacting your lawyer can land in any of the above steps, depending on the situation’s urgency. Sometimes, the accident details can be confusing, making you contact your lawyer at the initial stages.
Why contact a lawyer?
Other than the reasons for needing someone to handle your case, lawyers are competent and have the knowledge and skills to handle your compensation case. They can help you gather more evidence, recruit more witnesses, get a police report of the accident, gather medical reports and other details which will make your case sail through. Your defendant will also be having a law representative. To counterattack them, you will need a reliable attorney to handle your case effectively. The lawyer will also take your case to a court of law if the compensation awarded by the insurance company is not satisfactory.
When you get involved in an accident caused by someone’s recklessness, the law requires you to get compensated. However, the whole process isn’t straightforward, and at times, you might fail to get compensated, even when the police report says you aren’t at fault. When you follow the above steps, you are sure of protecting your interests and increasing your chances of compensation. Get a reputable lawyer to carry you through the compensation process.