Getting into road altercations is more likely than you may think, with more than 50 million road-related incidents occurring per year, according to an estimate by the World Health Organization. Chances are, you might get into one at least once in your life. Thus. it is important to know what to do next. Here are three basic steps you need to remember in the event that you do find yourself involved in an automotive accident.
Stay Put and Monitor Your Surroundings
At any point before an appropriate conclusion to the incident has been reached, absolutely do NOT leave. You wouldn’t want a hit-and-run to be put on your permanent record. Any individual reported to have left an automotive accident they were involved in can be seriously penalized, especially if someone sustained injuries. Always remember to check if anyone involved is physically and mentally sound as soon as you’re able. In this situation, apply basic First Aid if anyone needs it. However, if someone is experiencing extreme pain from more serious injuries such as possible spine or limb damage, take basic steps to stabilize their condition; and unless absolutely necessary, do not move them until medical assistance arrives on the scene. Immediately after checking if everyone is okay, dial 911 and inform them of what you know.
Gather Information From Witnesses On the Scene
This includes any and all witnesses who decided to stay put. Do this to gather as much information as possible that may help towards the resolution of the incident. From the drivers and their passengers, ask for their name, phone number, driver’s license number, license plate number, and insurance information. Remember to keep a cool head and maintain civility, as tensions may be high after possible injuries and/or serious damage to property. As for witnesses, ask for their basic information, as well as whether or not accidents of this nature are common in their area. If they are, that would give an inkling as to what common thread might have caused your accident. Taking pictures would be a good move as well.
Keep in mind however that you refrain from saying anything that would make you criminally liable for the incident. Moreover, some states don’t rely on fault as a determiner of who pays damages, according to www.fvflawfirm.com. Oftentimes, it’s unclear even to onlookers what exactly caused an accident and who may be at fault, so it’s best to keep conversations centered on ensuring everyone is well and gathering as much useful information as possible.
Inform All Relevant Authorities
Once everything’s sorted and the police and/or paramedics have arrived, deliver to them what you’ve found out so far about the situation: whether or not anyone was hurt, as well as any personal information that might come in useful for the case. Request for a copy of the police report that they file on the scene, as well as names and badge numbers of responding officers. Next, inform your primary care physician of the situation if you or any of your passengers may be in need of further medical help. Remember to also request any and all medical reports to prove your medical expenses to your insurance company. Lastly, contact your insurance company, and tell them the whole truth about the situation to avoid serious legal ramifications later on. Aside from being 100% honest, deliver to them any police and medical reports you can get your hands on to support your claim on insurance coverage.
Road accidents can be some of the most life-altering events in a person’s life, but keeping a cool head and making rational decisions to aid in their resolution can get you through it.