If you’ve never been in an accident, then consider yourself either lucky or well overdue. Car insurance providers estimate that average customers will file a claim once very 17.9 years. This means that if you’ve been driving since age 17, you’ll have more than likely been in an accident by age 35, at the latest.
Most accidents aren’t deadly, as there’s only 40,000 fatal crashes out of the average 10 million accidents per year according to the National Safety Council. Though these minor incidents don’t necessarily need the help of auto injury attorneys, they can still be quite traumatic.
Even if you’re all shaken up, you’ve got to snap out of it and take the necessary steps to protect yourself against the ensuing legal processes. Here are a few things you’ve got to make sure to do immediately after the accident so that your auto injury attorneys can get you the best possible settlement.
1. Be Prepared.
Before you contact any auto injury attorneys, before you get out of the car, before you even get in an accident, you’ve got to start preparing. Keep an emergency kit in your car that includes such items as paper, pens, and a disposable camera (in case your cell phone is rendered useless as a result of the accident). You should also keep all of the pertinent information in your car, such as your registration, insurance information, and information about any medicinal allergies you may have.
2. Be Safe.
If you’ve been involved in a minor accident, and the cars are still drivable, be sure to move them out of the road. If the accident is serious and the cars won’t work, then be sure to turn the flashers on and stay seated until help arrives.
3. Document Everything.
Using the camera you’ve prepared for such an incident, you want to document the damage done to your vehicle, and the other party’s. This will be powerful evidence that your auto injury attorneys can use. These photos are to show the overall context of the accident so that your auto injury attorneys and claims adjuster can determine the most appropriate settlement. If there were witnesses, do you best to get their information so that they can help you in the future if the other party disputes your claim.
4. File a Report.
If you’ve been in an accident, you should always file a report. If you don’t, you auto injury attorneys may be powerless to help you. If no police officers are able to respond to your accident (as may be the case if no one was injured) then you can access accident reports at police stations or the DMV’s website.
These steps are absolutely crucial. Without them, your auto injury attorneys won’t be able to get you the settlement you deserve. If you have any questions about these steps or about auto injury attorneys, feel free to ask in the comments.