Did you know that over seven million accidents happen in the U.S. every year? This is according to data from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. Getting involved in a collision can be a traumatic and painful experience. Time seems to slow down when you are involved in a crash, leaving you confused about what just happened and wondering what you could have done to prevent the incident.
In the confusion of the moment, you can miss crucial details about the accident that can determine whether or not you will be compensated by the driver at fault. Therefore, try to stay calm after an accident. Oklahoma Highway Safety’s government website and portals of the state’s prominent cities, such as Tulsa, provide a scary stat of the number of crashes, their reason, and consequences. If you face any such unfortunate incident, even if you may be considering hiring a car wreck attorney in Tulsa to handle the issue of compensation with the other party, it pays to take some proactive steps to build a strong case.
Below are important things you should not forget to do after getting involved in a car accident.
- i) Move your car
After an accident, move your car from the road away from other oncoming vehicles. Also, put traffic warning signs nearby and activate your hazard lights to warn other drivers of the incident. If you have a flare, use it. Moving your vehicle out of the road can prevent further accidents at the scene.
- ii) Stay at the scene of the accident
Do not leave the scene of the accident, even if you do not think you have been seriously injured or your car has been damaged. If you leave the spot, you risk being charged with a “hit and run” accident. Wait until the police arrive, make a report, and then contact a towing services company (if need be).
iii) Call 911
Call 911 immediately if you are involved in a car accident. When the police arrive at the scene, they will take statements from you, the other driver, and other witnesses. Filing a police report is important as it can help to determine who was liable for the accident
- iv) Don’t underestimate your injuries
Ensure that you and any people you are with are fine. Go for a medical checkup, even if you feel fine or have no apparent signs of physical injuries. Sometimes, you may have suffered internal organ damage, and your life may be in danger. Getting a complete physical medical checkup done is, therefore, one of the things you should not ignore after an accident.
- v) Gather information
Take note of what happened during the accident and exchange your contact information with the other driver. Jot down his name, driver’s license number, and insurance provider information. Also, if there are any witnesses nearby, request them to provide their contact information. You may need to give the police or your attorney the contact details of the witnesses later on when filing a claim.
- vi) Take pictures or video evidence
Gather evidence around the accident scene. Use your smartphone to take photographs or videos of the accident scene. Take photos of your injuries, car damage, location of the vehicles after the accident, and so on.
vii) Don’t speak to the other driver’s insurance provider
Sometimes, the insurance company offering protection to the other driver will contact you immediately after an accident to offer a settlement. Do not start negotiations or accept any offers without talking to a personal injury attorney. Otherwise, you may get pressured to accept a lower compensation than is reasonable.
viii) Avoid discussing liability
Whether or not you will be compensated depends on liability. If you had a role to play in the collision, your compensation would reflect this. Avoid discussing liability with the other driver at the scene of the accident. Simply report what you saw to the police, and don’t blame yourself or the other driver for the accident. The facts of the incident will determine liability.
Getting involved in a car accident may be the last thing on your mind. However, when it happens, you need to know what to do to take care of your interests. Being proactive at the accident scene by following the tips above will go a long way in ensuring you fair compensation for your injuries and losses.