Road accidents happen from time to time. They affect different types of people, from experienced drivers to learners, passengers, and even pedestrians. When it happens, the first and most common reaction many people make is… they panic and get overwhelmed. It is not unlikely to get the same feeling knowing all too well that the collision or crash wasn’t your fault.
Well, we can say that it is the body’s natural response to a troublesome situation, so it’s very much expected. Nonetheless, despite the confusion and overwhelming panic, the actions you take after the accident are what matters most. For this reason, let us walk together and look at a few things you can do after an accident that is not your fault.
1. Check for Injuries
While panic is automatic in an accident scenario, it is critical to keep a clear mind. This will help you handle the situation better. First, ensure that you and the passengers, if any, are okay. If someone is injured, call 911 right away. If you are unable to make the call, try to find someone to do it for you.
Secondly, if you can move, try to pull your vehicle over from the road. If not possible, turn on the hazard lights. This makes it easy to spot your car by other drivers to avoid further accidents or injuries. Finally, ensure you seek medical attention regardless of how minor your injuries may seem. Your safety and wellness should be a priority.
2. Determine Your Legal Options
Car accident injuries can cause enormous financial losses, especially if you are held at fault for the crash. If the crash occurred while you were trying to avoid an unforeseeable hazard, there is a way you can avoid the resulting liabilities. In this case, you would need to use the sudden emergency defense in a court of law. Of course, the best way to do this is through an experienced accident attorney. They can investigate your case and help determine if it qualifies as a sudden emergency.
3. Report the Incident to the Police
Most people opt to solve the incidences without law enforcement present, which is not an advisable approach. If the accident is on a public road, you have to notify the police. They write an accident report based on what they can see and the statement provided by the two parties or witnesses. Make sure you get a copy of this. It will help when navigating insurance claims and court processes.
4. Exchange Insurance Details and Other Information
This is between you and the other driver. Some may say, “The officers have the details, why should I bother?” Well, it is overly critical, especially since the police report may take several days before it is available. With the other driver’s info and insurance details, you can start the claims process immediately. If you can, be sure to ask the other driver for details like:
- Name of driver
- Phone number and address
- Insurance details and policy number
- Vehicle description and plate number
Also, get the contacts of the presiding police officer and one or two witnesses.
4. Collect Evidence
Gather information relating to the accident. Try to record a statement of the accident on your phone. This can be either through video or notes. This will keep your memory refreshed for accuracy purposes when relaying the details to the court or insurance company. Also, take pictures or videos of the vehicles from various angles. This will be important when showing the actual state on the ground. The names and contact details of witnesses (if any) will also suffice as admissible evidence in case you seek compensation in court.
5. Report to the Insurance Companies
File the claim with the insurance carrier of the other driver. Also, report the accident to your insurance provider. This makes them aware of the extent of the damage to your vehicle as well as your injuries, if any. Besides, the other driver may try to make a car accident claim against you. When filing a claim, be careful about what you say or accept. Your words could be used to implicate you or offer a settlement that is not practical.
In these situations, it is advisable to have an attorney as earlier mentioned. They will guide you from the start to the finish on anything related to legal issues. This will help you get the settlement you deserve for an accident that wasn’t your fault.
Dealing with an accident is not easy. It can have a great toll on you, physically, emotionally, and financially. It can cause huge disruptions in your lifestyle as well. If it happens and it wasn’t your fault, the above are a few things you can do to get the best outcome after an accident.
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