According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), the risk of collision increases by nearly 100% for newly licensed teen drivers. However, everyone, no matter their age, can get in a car accident. And, a car accident is a great way to put it because it is in fact an accident. With that being said, don’t be too hard on yourself if you cause, or are in, a collision. What you should do after a car accident is act accordingly and smartly in order to ensure your legal security and peace of mind. In other words, do your best to steer clear of trouble.
If you’re involved in an accident, it’s important to stay calm and collect yourself. This will help you make smart and logical decisions during the aftermath of the accident, which is when you need to be your most collected and level-headed.
Document the Scene
If an accident is severe enough to make you believe that an investigation will be necessary, you should make sure you take photographs of the scene. However, even if an investigation is unnecessary, photos are still helpful for assessing the damage. Make sure to take note of the weather conditions, road surface, the presence of any nearby traffic signals and pedestrians, as well as other vehicles involved in the accident.
If there are any skid marks or debris on the road, make sure to mark their location in relation to your vehicle. Remember to be as thorough as possible when photographing the accident scene so that investigators can accurately determine what happened. After an accident it will be chaotic and you will most likely feel overwhelmed.
Therefore, it’s a good idea to read up on the recommended procedure of how to document the scene before you are thrown into the situation. For a walk through of what to do, to ensure that you are prepared if the time comes, feel free to visit this article.
Check for Injuries and Call the Police
Before anything else, make sure to check for injuries. If anyone is injured, call emergency medical services (EMS) or the police. If you’re uninjured, it’s best to wait for the police to arrive and file an accident report.
Depending on the circumstances of the accident, the police officer at the scene may issue citations or a warning. If you’re hit by another driver who doesn’t stop, the police will file what’s called a “hit and run” report. If the vehicle that hit you is clearly identifiable, you can file a “hit and run” report. However, if the vehicle is unidentifiable, you have the option to file an “accident” report instead.
Exchange Identification and Contact Information
If someone is injured, they may not be in a state to exchange information. If that’s the case, you should exchange information with anyone who isn’t injured. You should also ask anyone else involved in the accident to do the same. Remember to ask for names, addresses, phone numbers and insurance information.
For the best advice, visit communicating with the other driver after a car accident, which will provide legal insight as to how you should approach those involved after the accident. If you don’t have a pen and paper on hand, you can use your mobile phone to take pictures of everyone’s identification as well as the damage to the vehicles involved in the accident.
Communicate with Involved Parties
Although it’s not required by law, it’s always best to try to communicate with the other parties involved in the accident. If you’re able to, try to defuse the situation and come to a mutual agreement about who is responsible for the accident, how it happened and who will take care of any injuries sustained. If you’re unable to communicate with the other parties involved in the accident, you can still file an accident report with the police. An officer will then try to speak with the other parties involved in the accident on your behalf.
Seek Professional Advice
If the accident is severe enough to result in injuries or extensive damage to property, it’s best to hire a lawyer. It’s important to hire a lawyer as soon as possible after an accident occurs. A great option, if you reside in Florida, for a car accident lawyer is Dennis Hernandez.
Dennis Hernandez, along with other auto accident attorneys, will help you navigate the legal system and file the necessary legal paperwork to seek compensation for medical bills, lost wages and damaged property. Waiting too long can result in reduced compensation, so it’s recommended that you hire a lawyer as soon as you’ve been in an accident.
Car accidents happen every day, and it’s important to be prepared if you ever get into one. By following these tips, you’ll be better prepared to handle whatever situation you are thrown into. With these tips in mind, you’ll be better equipped to steer clear of trouble in the aftermath of an auto accident.
For more tips on how to ensure your personal security, check out our article on how to manage the inevitable: a tricky financial situation.
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