What To Do Immediately After A Car Accident?
Statistics show that over ten million accidents involving vehicular damage, as opposed to injury to the occupants, occur each year in the United States. Additionally, one in three accidents involves personal injury to either the driver, the passengers or innocent bystanders, and two out of every ten car accidents lead to fatal injuries and death. While these numbers are staggering, it still doesn’t stop people from taking the right safety measures after experiencing a car accident.
Consequences of Leaving The Scene
It is understandable to let emotions get the best of you, after all, when you have just been involved in a car wreck, your heart is pounding and you see your life flash before your eyes. What is important is to understand that almost every state in the U.S has a Vehicle Code or Transportation Code and it’s considered a misdemeanor or felony by leaving the scene of an accident.
In addition to being unlawful, insurance companies also don’t look too kindly on the practice of driving off after a car accident either, even if you didn’t have ill intentions in the first place. Not only will your insurance rates skyrocket, you also may not be able to afford coverage, and the state may revoke your driving privileges altogether.
Steps To Take Following An Accident
So, what should you do right after a car accident? The right thing to do is to stop your car immediately and if possible, move it off the road and, even if you are parked on the shoulder, don’t stay in your vehicle whatever the weather or type of accident or breakdown. In some cases, you may be involved in an accident in a dangerous part of the road where you can’t pull over, in this case, you should drive to the nearest police or emergency station to make an incident report.
The next thing to do, particularly on freeways or in bad visibility, at night, or in blind spots, is to warn other drivers of an obstruction by switching on your hazard warning lights or use a flashlight if at night to warn and re-direct oncoming traffic of the danger. It is also imperative that you protect the scene of the accident by setting up flares if possible so as to keep you and other motorists safe as you wait for help.
Contacting Emergency Personnel
While there are no requirements to call the police, particularly, if there are no injuries or damage to property other than your own, it is always advisable to report any incidents however minor.
This will give traffic police the opportunity to determine who is on the wrong – or, at the very least, record any information that may later be needed for an insurance claim or personal injury suit/claim. You also never change, move or erase key evidence on your car before an adjuster has had a chance to look at it because insurance companies need to know the exact details of the accident, including questioning key witnesses (if any) and take their names and addresses for future reference.
Ensure that you report all accidents to your insurance company in writing by completing and returning an incident report form.
Get Assistance With Your Accident Case in New Port Richey, Florida
If you have been injured in an accident the best thing that you can do is to reach out to an experienced personal injury attorney who can provide a more accurate estimate in case of a personal injury claim or suit. They will also be able to help explain the process of the suit and the steps that need to be taken to get started.
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