When you get into a car accident, your entire life is rattled. Suddenly you have entirely you new things to worry about. Is anybody injured? Is there any damage to your vehicle? The stress of the accident can make you forget what you need to do. That’s where this guide comes in handy.
According to SteinLaw, a car accident lawyer in Aventura, after you determine that you’ve been injured “your first step should be seeking experienced legal representation. An Aventura car accident attorney will work with you to protect your legal rights… If your injuries are the result of a reckless or negligent driver, a skilled lawyer will help you seek maximum compensation to pay your medical bills and lost wages while you work toward recovering your life.”
However, before you do anything, there are a few steps you should take care ok. Here’s what you need to do.
1. Assess the Damage
What’s going on? Before you do anything, you need to assess the situation. If anyone is injured, call 911 immediately. If everyone seems fine, assess the damage. You don’t need to call the police if the vehicles escaped unscathed. However, you still can if you would feel more comfortable that way. Your insurance company may also require a police report.
If there’s noticeable damage or if the other driver is acting aggressive, you should definitely call the police.
2. Move out of the Road
Get out of the road. If you’re waiting for the authorities to arrive, move over to the shoulder if you can. Be aware that other drivers may not see you, especially if the accident occurred at night. Do everything that you can to prioritize your own safety.
Everyone in both vehicles needs to get to a safe spot. If you can’t move the cars out of the road, grab your emergency road flares if you have them.
3. Stay Calm
The other driver is probably just as stressed out as you are. No one enjoys being in an accident. If you react angrily by yelling or making the other person feel bad, it won’t accomplish anything. In fact, it’ll probably just make everything worse. People do and say things that they don’t mean when they’re stressed out.
If you remain calm and cooperative, the entire process will go smoother.
4. Take Pictures
Most people travel with cell phones. If you have one, use it to take pictures of the accident. Snap as many pics as possible. It will help you if you have to make an insurance claim. Make sure you take a picture of the other driver’s ID. Take pictures of both vehicles even if only one of them was damaged.
If you can record a video on your phone, you may want to do that as well. Extra documentation can only help you.
5. Decide on a Claim
It’s not always easy to decide if you should make a claim or not. If the damage is minor, it can be tempting to make or accept a cash offer. However, there are drawbacks to this strategy. If the damage turns out to be more severe than you previously thought, you’ll be out of luck.
If the accident was your fault, you don’t have much of a choice. Everything depends on what the other driver wants to do. If your insurance company decides to pay out, it’s possible that your insurance premium may increase.
6. Call Your Insurance Company
Once you decide to take the matter to your insurance company, it’s time to make a phone call. The process will be less painful if you have all the information handy before you make the call. You need to have the other driver’s license and insurance information as well as details about the accident.
There’s no point in lying to your insurance company, even if the accident is your fault. They’re going to figure it eventually.
7. Call Your Lawyer
After the immediate steps are worked out, it’s time to call your lawyer. If you think you’re going to need to file a claim, it’s a good idea to bring a lawyer onto the case as soon as possible. Filing a personal injury lawsuit isn’t a quick process. The longer you wait to get started, the longer it will take to get paid.
Care accidents are, unfortunately, very common. However, if you keep your head after the accident, it doesn’t have to destroy your life. Most accidents only involves a financial hit. Your finances are less important than your physical wellbeing.