Being involved in a vehicular accident undoubtedly is a frightening time. Emotions are bound to run high, and your first instinct might be to panic. However, there are some things that you need to do to ensure the safety of every person involved in the incident, as well as to make sure that you are following the law and are able to claim insurance. Aside from contacting a car crash lawyer in Everett, here are some of the things that you need to remember if you get involved in a vehicular accident:
First, you need to keep yourself calm. This is important in retaining your presence of mind in the midst of the chaos. Doing so can help you perform better in the emergency and allow you to do the things you need to do to ensure that the people involved, as well as your rights, are well-protected.
Checking for the condition of everyone in the car with you
The Insurance Information Institute (III) suggests that you immediately check yourself and the other passengers in your car if any of you have sustained any injuries. If anyone has gotten injured, call 911 immediately. If someone has gotten seriously injured, try not to move them and wait for help to arrive.
If you get involved in a car accident, you have the legal obligation to stop at the scene where the incident has happened. Even if you assume that there is no damage caused to you or to the other party, the moment that you collide with something, you are already obligated to stop your car and stay at the scene until such time that you ensure that everything has been taken care of. Leaving the scene of the accident, especially in cases where someone has gotten injured, could lead to serious criminal penalties. You could be turned into a hit-and-run driver.
Calling the police
This is of utmost importance when it comes to accidents. In fact, it is even legally required in some states. The severity of the collision doesn’t matter. Even if it’s just a minor fender-bender or a full-blown collision, you will need to call the police. The law enforcement officers who will respond to your call will fill out an accident report and document the accident scene. In case the police are unable to go to the scene, you can head to the nearest police station yourself and write the report. This step is important because your insurance company might ask for a copy of the police report to aid the claims process.
Documenting the pertinent details
To ensure that your rights are protected, you need to document the information related to the incident including the identity of the officers, the names and addresses of everyone involved, and the details of any witnesses. You can also ask the police for a copy of the report. If your health permits, take photos of the accident scene from different angles. These details will prove useful later in supporting your insurance claims.
Speaking to your lawyer immediately
It would be wise to talk to a lawyer immediately after the incident, especially in cases where there are people who have sustained serious injuries. Whether you’re the one at fault or not, consulting an attorney can help you protect your rights.
Most people assume that they would never be involved in a car accident. However, statistics show that everyone has a high probability of being in a vehicular accident at some point in their lifetime. In case this ever happens to you, remember to keep your presence of mind and undertake these steps to ensure that you are protected.