Nobody wants to be involved in a car accident. But they happen all the time, and at some point you will likely to be involved in one as well. The statistics indicate that even a good driver will have an accident. You may do everything right, but you can’t rely on everyone doing so 100% of the time.
If you have an accident, the way you conduct yourself is very important, as it can make all the difference between securing compensation for your injuries or not. So today, using information gleaned from dmillerlaw, a Houston based team of personal injury lawyers, we’re going to look at what you should do after a car accident.
Make sure everyone is alright
The first thing to do is to make sure that nobody is injured. If they are, you should immediately call 911 so they can send an ambulance to the scene. In most places, there are laws that make this an obligation rather than just the right thing to do.
Secure the scene
You also need to consider the safety of others. As you can see here, in some parts of the world, safety triangles have to be deployed, after an accident. You may also be required by law to don a high visibility vest and ensure all your passengers are wearing one. It may be necessary for you to get them all out of the car and have them stand or sit a safe distance away from the crashed vehicles. So, you should know what the rules are and be sure that you are equipped to follow them.
Call the police
In the US and other places, if someone is injured or property is damaged, the police have to be called to the scene. Don’t just assume someone else has made the call. That cannot be used as an excuse should they not attend the scene.
Call a good personal injury lawyer
If you can do so and know a good personal injury lawyer that deals with accidents, give them a call. Or, do a quick search and call a local one. Many of them provide free to use 24/7 helplines. They can provide useful advice about how to conduct yourself.
Later, if you hire them, you will need to pay for their services. Fortunately, many of them will happily work on a contingency basis.
Say as little as possible about the accident
Even if you think that you are to blame for the accident, it is best not to say so. Often, later, when you have had time to think things through and looked at the physical evidence you will realize the accident did not happen as you thought. It is always wise to speak to your lawyer first before making any kind of official statement.
That includes what you say to the police. Of course, you need to co-operate and answer their questions. But, you must still be mindful of what you say.
Safely gather evidence
You also need to gather evidence. Provided it is safe to do so, take photos and videos. Do your best to get the contact details of everyone involved, including witnesses.
Provided you do the above, you should have all of the information you need to successfully pursue a claim. When things go wrong, try not to let the shock overwhelm you. Be a good citizen, do your duty, but also make sure that you take care of your interests.