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When you’re involved in a car accident, you’ll likely feel confused, overwhelmed, and at least a little bit panicked. To prevent these feelings from taking over and clouding your judgment, it is important to know what steps you need to take in case you are ever in a crash. By knowing these important steps now, the process of contacting a personal injury attorney will become much easier should you be in this situation.
- Move to a safe area and stay at the scene: If you are not seriously injured and it is safe to move, get yourself and your vehicle into a safe area. If you can’t move your car, put the hazard lights on. Check on others involved to make sure they are safe as well. Be sure to stay at the scene or else others may try to pin the fault on you for the incident.
- Call the police: Even if it was a minor accident, an official police report of the incident will be valuable in any insurance or legal claims. When talking with the police, be careful to not admit any fault or blame others in regards to what happened. Allow the police to objectively assess the situation and determine who was at fault in the crash.
- Gather information: As long as everyone is safe and in good condition to talk, try collecting as much of their information as you can in the aftermath of the incident. The information you’ll want to gather includes the names of any drivers and passengers involved, the license plate numbers and makes and models of the vehicles, insurance information of the other drivers, contact information of any witnesses, and the name and badge numbers of responding officers at the scene.
- Take photos: Photographic documentation of the scene is as important as the information you’ll write down. If you are able to, take photos of the scene and the vehicles involved with the camera on your phone. Be sure to also take photos of any injuries you sustained. This real-time evidence will be important for any claims you may want to make.
Approximately 40,100 people died in auto accidents in 2017, according to estimates from the National Safety Council. These serious incidents can be frightening to be in, but take a deep breath and follow any necessary steps to ensure the protection of your health and your assets in the aftermath.