Being involved in a vehicular accident can be a stressful and overwhelming experience. 8.8% of drivers in the United States have recorded an at-fault accident as of 2022. These accidents result in 1.34 fatalities for every 100 million miles driven by Americans, equating to one death per 8,547 people yearly.
Whether you’re the victim or the at-fault driver, it’s important to know what steps to take to protect yourself, your property, and other people involved. This article will discuss what to do if you’ve been involved in a vehicular accident.
Remain on the Scene and Gather Information
All drivers must remain on the scene of vehicular accidents until law enforcement arrives. You should also ensure that no one else is injured and that all vehicles are moved off the roadway if it is safe to do so. In addition, you should exchange information with any other drivers involved in the accident, including their names, contact information, insurance information, license plate numbers, etc.
If any witnesses are present at the scene of the accident, make sure to get their contact information. This will be helpful should you need to file an insurance claim or pursue legal action related to the accident. If you are at fault, do not admit fault in the accident. Even if you think you may be at fault, it’s best to avoid admitting this to the other driver, police officers on the scene, or insurance companies.
Call Law Enforcement
If anyone was injured due to the accident or significant damage was done to either vehicle (or any nearby property), you must call law enforcement immediately. The police will arrive on the scene and assess the situation before writing an official report detailing what happened during the accident. Depending on where you live and the accident’s seriousness, they may issue citations for offenses. These could be reckless driving or failing to yield right-of-way, depending on which driver was at fault for causing the crash.
Once law enforcement has completed their investigation, they will provide everyone involved with a copy of their report. Reports can later be used by insurance companies or lawyers handling potential civil suits related to damages caused by the crash. They will also be able to provide information to you and any other driver involved about your next steps in dealing with the accident.
File an Insurance Claim
Once law enforcement has left the scene, you or the other driver may need to file a claim with their insurance company. It is important to remember that insurance companies are not there to help victims of accidents but rather to protect the interests of their insured clients. Therefore, it’s important to be thorough and include as many details as possible when filing a claim.
Be sure to include information about who was at fault in the accident, any damages or injuries sustained by either driver and the police report number if one was written. Keep all receipts for medical bills, property damages, or other expenses incurred due to the accident. This will help you receive full compensation from the insurance company should they find that their insured driver was at fault in causing the accident.
Seek Legal Advice
If you were injured due to someone’s negligence during a vehicular accident or if your vehicle sustained significant damage, seek legal advice from an experienced personal injury lawyer. A good lawyer can help ensure that your rights are protected and that you receive fair compensation for any losses incurred due to your involvement in this accident.
In Case of Driving Under the Influence
It is important to contact a DUI lawyer immediately if you or the other driver involved in the accident have been drinking alcohol or using drugs before the crash. Driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol is illegal. It can result in serious penalties, including fines, jail time, and/or loss of driving privileges.
A lawyer can help you understand your rights and the legal options available to you in this situation. They can also help ensure that your legal rights are protected if you face criminal charges due to driving under the influence. If you are charged, it is important to have an attorney who can help you build a strong defense and provide advice on the best course of action for your case.
A DUI charge will most likely affect your car insurance rates in the long run. It is best to speak with a lawyer as soon as possible to understand the full extent of your legal obligations and how to best protect yourself.
No one wants to get into an accident. Still, unfortunately, these situations occur daily due to carelessness or negligence behind the wheel. You must know the necessary steps to protect yourself legally and financially while minimizing further damage caused by such events. With knowledge comes power, so remember these steps next time something happens so you can best prepare yourself for dealing with these unfortunate occurrences!