What’s up with all the SUVs driving around, eh? It’s more than just their owners wanting to look tough – automobile accidents are the biggest concern of every car owner, which is why more and more people are opting for tank-esque personal vehicles. Car accidents can happen even to the most attentive driver, and when they do, the shock can often make people forget that the end of the accident usually means the start of a tough legal battle. Here are basic steps to take if you find yourself in an automobile accident (or have recently been in one).
- Get ready to stick around. While you’d probably want nothing more than to go home, have a nice warm bath and forget all about the accident, leaving the scene is ill-advised and will cause a lot of trouble for you later on. Instead, you’ll have to stick around for what could be hours, depending on the magnitude of the incident.
- Take pictures and collect data. One of the blessings of present day is the option to take a photo in mere seconds and in virtually every situation – make full use of this by taking dozens of photos of the accident site from all angles, including photographing everything that was damaged by a vehicle. Likewise, ask for contact info of everyone who participated in the accident and feel free to use the threat of law enforcement if necessary. Speaking of law enforcement…
- Call the police and work with them. Sure, it’s a hassle, but the police need to have a record of what happened, and working with them will help you a great deal when things hit the court (they usually do).
- Visit a hospital. No matter how you’re feeling, get a full check-up – car accident injuries can often be hidden and only present themselves later on after you’ve already given a statement, causing you to bear the medical expenses in full. Also, make sure to get a copy of the complete medical record of your physical and mental state in the aftermath of the accident.
The next steps aren’t as clear-cut for some but are even more straightforward for many. Some will tell you to call the persons who played a role in the accident and work out an agreement with them, or to talk to your insurance company, tell them what happened and see what they can do to help.
Our advice, though? Head straight to an attorney. Even if you aren’t keen on ‘lawyering up’, there are countless benefits to working with an attorney every step of the way – a good attorney will prevent you from undermining yourself with any action you could take due to oversight or simply good will.
Not to mention, working with an attorney will almost certainly entitle you to greater compensation both from the insurance company and any persons who played a role in the accident. While you might feel as if you’re lacking a guardian angel after being in an accident, your attorney will end up filling that role nicely as time passes.