In the United States alone, there are currently over 210 Million licensed drivers (and over 300,000 Uber drivers), and that number will only continue to increase. According to a 2013 report from the U.S. Department of Transportation's National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, there were 5,615,000 accidents in the US in 2012. In 2011, there were 5,338,000 accidents. With car accident numbers so high, it's surprising how few people know the most important steps to take after a crash.
Unfortunately, auto accidents are as stressful (and oftentimes as painful) as they are common, and can leave their victims feeling disoriented and confused, so we can understand why not everyone will instantly know what to do directly after a wreck. Learning what to do in case of a car accident now is the best way to prepare yourself in the event that you ever find yourself in an accident.
What should I do after a car accident?
The below lists from State Farm offer a solid foundation for what to do in the face of an auto accident.
Immediately After an Accident:
- Take a deep breath and stay calm
- Check for injuries; call an ambulance when in doubt
- If accident is minor, move cars to a safe place, out of traffic
- Turn on your vehicle's hazard lights and use cones, warning triangles or flares for safety
- Call the police, even if the accident is minor
- Notify your insurance agent immediately
- If your car needs towing, review our Tow Truck Guide
Other Important Tips:
- Do not sign any document unless it's for the police or your insurance agent
- Make immediate notes about the accident, including specific damages to all vehicles involved, witness information, etc.
- If the name on an auto registration is different than the driver, jot down the relationship
- Be polite, but don't tell anyone the accident was your fault, even if you think it was
- State only the facts, and limit your discussion of the accident to the police and your insurance agent
- If possible, don't leave the accident scene before the police and other drivers do
While these checklists of to-do items are assuredly helpful, they were published by an insurance company, who may not always have the accident victim's best interests at heart, because they have bottom lines to fulfill and will actively look for problems with a victim's accident claim which would allow them to deny the claim. Some additional steps you will need to remember after your accident, provided by www.glass.net, are as follows:
Keep Track of Your Medical Treatment: Note any doctors, physical therapists, chiropractors, or other medical professionals that you receive treatment from, and each medical provider that referred you to other caregivers. Keep a detailed account of the treatments or medications you receive.
Get a Property Damage Valuation: Obtain your insurance company's damage valuation. If you aren't satisfied with how your insurance company has valued your vehicle, don't give up. Get two independent repair estimates or replacement quotes.
Use Caution in Discussing the Incident: Don't talk to anyone about the accident other than your lawyer, your insurance company, and the police.
Be Wary of Early Settlement Offers: Be careful if you're offered a settlement from an insurance company. Confirm all your physical injuries have been treated. Some injuries don't show up or reach their greatest level of discomfort until many days, weeks, or months later.
Consider Hiring an Attorney: If anyone was injured in the accident, it's best to consult an experienced attorney. An attorney can help you maximize your recovery if you're injured or better defend yourself if you're at fault.
Accident Attorney Daytona Beach
If you or a loved one have been involved in a car accident and have questions to ask a personal injury lawyer, our experienced Daytona Beach car accident attorneys would be honored to help with the next steps in your case, and if we discover that your injuries are the direct result of another driver's negligence, we will do everything in our power to see to it that you are compensated sufficiently for your anguish and injuries. Please fill out our Free Case Evaluation by clicking on the link below or call our Daytona Beach office at 386-777-7777 to schedule an appointment today.