What Should I Do Immediately After a Car Accident?
What should I do immediately after a car accident?
Most of us consider ourselves safe drivers and we hope to not be involved in a car accident. We try not to speed more than 5 over the speed limit, cut someone off, or run a red light. Unfortunately, not every driver abides by the traffic laws. Furthermore, even extremely safe and cautious drivers can have an accident. It can be a snowy day with icy roads, raining hard enough to decrease visibility, or a you may have a one second distraction that takes your eyes off the road for a moment; all resulting in an unwanted car accident. Even though we may think we will never be involved in a car accident, Utah statistics say otherwise. For more Utah car accident statistics, please read my previous blog by following this link Utah Car Accident Statistics.
So let’s say you are involved in a car accident, the question becomes what should I do immediately after a car accident?
Below I will to discuss valuable steps to follow that will help you handle a situation right after a car accident.
What is ther first thing I should do after I have been in a car accident?
If you find yourself in your vehicle after someone else’s road rage took the best of them and hit your car, the most important first step to follow immediately after the car accident is to remain calm. Remain in your seat and take a few deep breaths. This well help you lower your adrenaline and heart rate allowing you to begin to process the situation.
Should I stop my car or continue to drive to a safer location?
Although, most people stop their cars after being involved in an accident, there are circumstances such as a hit and run or a smaller accident, where some people decide to run off. It is not only recommended for everyone to stop regardless of the severity of the accident, it is also Utah Law. The law requires all motor vehicles to come to a complete stop after any accident on any public road. Always remember whether you’re involved in a major accident with multiple vehicles or a very minor fender bender, stop your vehicle and wait for the police or first responders to arrive.
Is everyone safe?
After you’ve stopped your car and taken a few deep breaths to process the situation, the next step is extremely important immediately after a car accident. Check yourself for injuries. If you appear to be okay, check the passengers of your vehicle sand the other vehicle as well. Although being in a car accident can be frustrating, safety always comes first.
On a side note, after you check yourself for injuries, if you are safe and able to operate your vehicle, please move your vehicle to the side of the road or a shoulder, to avoid any further accident or disruption of traffic, especially on the freeway. Sometimes you may want to take photographs or videos of the positions of the vehicles, if it can be done safely. If you’re injured or are unsure if your car is drivable then turn on your hazards and wait for first responders to arrive at the scene. If you’re able to walk around, leave your car and move yourself and anyone involved in the accident to safety.
Should I call the police and/or first responders?
Once you have determined that you have no immediate injuries, call 911. Even in minor accidents, it is always better to have a third party review the situation. When they arrive, they will file an official report of the accident which is very helpful and necessary for insurance companies when filing a claim for injuries or property damage. Also keep in mind, according to Utah Highway Patrol, when a car accident occurs that causes personal injury, property damage above $1500 or death, an official police report is required.
What information do I need?
After everyone is presumed safe and your vehicle is moved off the road, the next step is to exchange information with the other driver. Make sure you obtain their full name, insurance company with policy number, their drivers license number, phone number and license plate. If unsure whose at fault, call the police and wait for them to arrive.
Do I need to take photos or videos of the car accident?
This is the time to pull your smart phone out and take photos and videos from different angles of the damage to your vehicle and case dependent, also the other drivers vehicle. Don’t forget to take photos and videos of your injuries.
Were there any witnesses at the scene?
If anyone around the are witnessed your car accident, it can be helpful when determining fault and to have someone vouch for you if you are the injured party due to someone else’s negligent driving. Obtain the witnesses names and contact information if possible.
Should I call my insurance company?
If you are looking to file a claim with your insurance company or the other driver’s as a result of his/her negligent driving, call your insurance company. This is all a case by case basis situation, based on the damages and injuries as a result of the car accident, but usually contacting your insurance is best.
Should I call an attorney?
This is where we come in. Here at Symco Injury Law, we understand how strenuous and life changing an accident can be, especially if there are personal injuries involved. Accidents can sometimes lead you to change your quality of life, to miss work, or other long term effects. And if you’re not at fault, you are entitled to monetary compensation and the best medical help you deserve. Call us at any time during this process. We are not only here to represent you but to listen an answer any questions during your initial free consultation. We can guide you through the process of what needs to be done immediately after the accident and the weeks to follow based on your individual case.
Also, soon after an accident, if you’re unsure if your case warrants an attorney or if our services will be beneficial, don’t hesitate to call us. Tell us your story of what happened and we will happily express to you how we can help you get the treatment and property compensation you need.
For legal services and any questions on how we can help, please reach us on our website at Symco Injury Law Contact Page or call us @ (801)738-9999. We are very happy to help and are available 24/7!