Legal Steps You Can Take If You Were in a Traffic Collision
By Space Coast Daily // January 10, 2021
Car accidents happen more often than most people may think. More than 60 million car crashes are reported across the US every year. This rate sends a lot of victims to their death and endangers the lives of many other parties involved.
It’s important to acknowledge the legal steps that need to be followed right after an accident’s occurrence; this is to protect your rights and grant you your compensation if you suffered any serious injuries or hardships.
We give you this helpful guide to show you the most important steps you need to take right after being involved in a car collision.
Check for Injuries and Assess the Damage
The first thing you need to do after a car accident, whether you’re the driver or one of the passengers, is to assess the damage that resulted from the crash. Make sure the car you’re in is not causing any traffic issues and if so, move the car or victims to a safer place until the authorities arrive.
Check for injuries and prioritize your safety, then proceed to check on the safety of the other parties involved without discussing the accident with them. If you smell gas coming out of any of the cars involved you need to leave the car immediately and stay away from it until the emergency responders arrive.
If you discover any injuries that may require medical attention, the best thing to do is to contact the emergency services and ask for medical assistance. Remember not to move any of the victims, or vehicles involved in the accident unless necessary, and not to leave the accident scene before the police and first responders arrive. If you leave the scene after an accident that involved the injury or death of any parties, you could face serious legal repercussions.
Contact the Authorities
After stopping your car and making sure you are safe, calling the police should be the next step. Even if it is a small accident, it should be reported to the authorities according to the law in most states.
This is due to the importance of the police report of the accident, as it will come in handy for your legal case when you hire an attorney. Your attorney, along with your insurance company, will require a report as proof of what happened at the accident scene and state some important information about the involved parties.
When you speak to the police officer documenting your case, you need to make sure you get their name, badge number, and report number to request a copy of the report later on. While waiting for the police to arrive, try not to talk about the accident or what caused it with the other drivers or people involved. You should only be exchanging information that is relevant to the case without mentioning opinions about what might have caused the accident.
Collect Facts from the Scene
While you wait for the police to arrive and investigate you should collect relevant information and document any details you will need later to make your insurance claim. Even if you are not one of the drivers that caused the accident, you can still claim insurance after suffering any losses as a result of the accident.
If you were injured as a passenger in a car crash in California, you can claim compensation from the driver’s insurance company even if the driver at fault is the driver you were in the car with, as per the state’s laws. These laws were put in place to protect the rights of injured accident victims who suffered hardships as a result of the negligence of others.
Important information needed from the accident scene includes the name of the drivers, their phone numbers, their addresses, license numbers, and license plate numbers. The insurance claim is also going to require their car’s vehicle identification number to track their insurance company.
Call Your Lawyer
After assessing the damages and treating your injuries, you should be keeping a record of your medical bills, doctor visits, and required treatments to provide it to your lawyer. You can book a free consultation with an attorney to discuss your situation and evaluate whether your case is worth claiming insurance and taking things to a court or not.
Your lawyer will be able to assess the damage on a legal level and determine how you are going to earn your compensation from the other driver’s insurance company.
Dealing with a road accident is hard for everyone involved and even for some bystanders who witness the accident. However, since the consequences of an accident are complicated, a lot of legal steps need to be taken to ensure the proper documentation of the scene to investigate the losses later on.
As a person who is involved in the accident, you need to make sure all these steps are followed to guarantee your right to compensation for any losses and injuries you may have suffered.