Auto accidents are distressing, and the more often you drive, the more likely you are to have one. Even though we pay for car insurance, no one actually anticipates being in a car crash. In other words, it’s not something one plans for, so we’re often not ready to handle the personal injury or property damage that results from a crash.
Because auto accidents are scary and intense situations, many people panic and make decisions that cost them in more ways than one. Being that statistics show that 77% of people have been in at least one car crash, it would be beneficial to know what steps to take immediately following an accident. Continue reading to learn what steps you should take in case you’re ever in an auto accident.
1. Make sure everyone in your car is okay.
Car wrecks at any speed can cause serious injury to the drivers and passengers involved. The moments immediately following an accident are the most critical.
If you’re still able to move your car, the first thing you should do is pull over to the shoulder of the road or as much of the way out of other motorists as possible. Once you’re out of the way of oncoming motorists, the next thing you need to do is make sure you and everyone in your vehicle are okay.
If you or any of your passengers are injured, it’s important to remain as still and as calm as possible. Assess your injuries to see if you can move without hurting yourself further. If anyone is bleeding or badly hurt, call the paramedics.
2. Notify the police.
Even if no one is hurt in the accident, it’s still best to call the police so you can have a record of the accident to give your car insurance company and your lawyer if you choose to file a suit. Often, if no one’s badly hurt in the accident and the vehicles are okay to operate, the drivers choose not to call the police after exchanging information. However, according to Colorado law, you have to call the police after an accident.
3. Call your insurance company.
According to law, it’s mandatory for all motorists to have car insurance to pay for their liabilities if they’re the fault party in an auto accident. Call your car insurance company to notify them you’ve been in an auto accident. Even if you’re not the fault party, it’s a good idea to call them anyway in case the person driving the other vehicle was an uninsured driver.
4. Call a personal injury lawyer.
If you or anyone in your vehicle was injured in the auto accident, don’t speak with the insurance company about it. Your next call should be to a personal injury lawyer. For instance, if you or a loved one suffer a bodily injury or wrongful death because of a drunk driver or distracted driver while driving on Colorado roads, you’ll need a Denver accident attorney with years of experience representing car accident victims.
If you suffer a personal injury in a car accident, the worst thing you can do is settle with the insurance company. Their goal is to look after their own interests, and they’re not likely to give you fair compensation. Most personal injury lawyers are willing to give you a free consultation to help you determine whether you should file a lawsuit or even whether you might need defense for your part in the car accident.
5. Keep up with all of your paperwork related to the accident.
You must keep up with all the paperwork you accrue as a result of your car accident. You should create a special file for your accident report, any documents from the other driver’s insurance company and personal injury lawyer, as well as your own.
If you end up having medical bills, you need to keep up with those as well as an income statement in case you have to miss time from work. Your personal injury lawyer will use that information to determine the fault party’s liability for physical therapy and medical bills, pain and suffering, and missed wages.
As you can see, a car accident is usually merely the beginning of a possibly long and stressful situation. It’s important to have the best car insurance you can afford to protect you in case of a car crash. You also need the aid of an experienced attorney to ensure you receive fair compensation for your car accident. Finally—the most important thing is that you keep both eyes on the road and both hands on the steering wheel.