Millions of car crashes happen every year all over the world. Unfortunately, if you happen to drive a car, then there is a big chance that you will be involved in a car crash at least once in your life. In some good cases, the crash will only involve property damage, like damage to your car or the damage of a building. We say that this is fortunate because money can fix the damaged property. But in less fortunate situations somebody might be hurt in a car crash leaving a permanent scar on the person’s life and the life of their family and friends.
In this article we will present the best advice on how to act right after a car crash to ensure your protection and the protection of others:
Stop after the crash
Never run away from the scene. This will put you in great liability and the person you hit will be able to sue you in court. Moreover, it is unethical and criminally wrong to run away after hitting someone’s car in case they are hurt and you could have offered help. Your panic might cost someone their life or the life of their parent or child.
Check for injuries
You should check that everyone is safe, including yourself, the driver of the other car and all the passengers in the involved vehicles. If there are no apparent injuries but the person seems dizzy or distorted you should always call for emergency assistance. Internal damage or bleeding can be life threatening and is treatable if detected early.
Protect the scene
If possible, leave your hazard warning lights on or use flares to make sure that no one else hits your car. Especially when it is dark and someone is waiting after an accident, a rushing car might come along the way and contribute to the damage. If it is safe to do so, then try to move the vehicles off the road. This way you ensure that everybody will be safe. For insurance purposes, you might want to take a few photos before and after you have moved the vehicle. If there is no risk of other car hitting yours, then leave your vehicle as it is.
Call the police
It is best to call the police even if there are no serious injuries. You need to file that police report to your insurance company to claim your money. Most companies will require this police report before they determine if you are eligible for this kind of reimbursement.
Exchange information with the other driver
Make sure that you have all the information of the other driver including their names, their driving licence, and vehicle registration and licence plate number. This kind of information is needed to present to your insurance company. If the other driver is not insured or doesn’t have a licence then you should immediately report it to the police if you haven’t already done so.
Make an accurate record
Once the police arrive, make sure that you tell them exactly what happened the way it happened. Don’t make speculations or guesses. Instead, say I don’t know if you are not sure. Remember that most car injuries will reveal themselves after a few hours so it is better to ask the police to take the people involved in the crash to the hospital if help hasn’t arrived yet. Make sure that everybody involved tells the accurate information leaving no room for error and speculation. If you are not sure about what happened or if you lost consciousness for a while then it is safer to say so.
Report the accident to your insurance company
Most companies require that you report the accident as soon as it happens. In many occasions, the company will send a representative to make sure that everything is recorded as it should be. Understand whether your insurance includes paying for medical bills because in that case, you can include accident related medical bills to the amount of money you will receive from your insurance company.
Hire a solicitor
Hiring a lawyer is the best way to ensure that you get compensated for the accident. They will tell you about your rights and the best way to ensure that you get fully compensated for the damage. A solicitor will also facilitate the process of settlement that involves other parties. In case an involved party wants to take the dispute to court, you will have to hire an experienced lawyer to help you if you feel that you might be involved in a lawsuit after the crash.
Hopefully, this article has provided you with some useful information and advice about what to do right after a car crash. With enough luck, you will never be involved in a car crash but it doesn’t hurt to know what to do in case you are. Stay safe out there everyone.