Around 16,000 road accidents occur every single day on American soil. While roughly 40,000 will lose their lives over the course of a year, the vast majority of incidents involved minor injuries and damage to vehicles. Nevertheless, it’s never a nice experience, even if cars are the only thing to suffer major damage.
Given those statistics, though, being ready for those potential situations is vital. Many of those actions remain constant from state to state, but some aspects will be specific to geographic location. In Florida, calling a Daytona Beach car accident attorney gives you the best chance of gaining financial justice. But what about before that?
Follow each of the 10 points below, and you won’t go far wrong.
Leaving the scene of a crash is never a smart idea, even if it’s a minor one. Whether you’re the victim or the driver at fault, simply driving away can cause a number of problems;
- You could potentially be fleeing a scene where another road user is hurt. Driving away could see you linked to far more serious charges. Besides, the guilt alone (even if you were the victim) of not helping when you could will be horrendous.
- You won’t have the other driver’s details, which will make things very difficult if the incident goes to court. Again, this rings true regardless of which side you’re on.
- The other driver and passengers will have a chance to report their side of the story at the scene of the accident. Your absence makes it impossible to give yours.
More importantly, you could be suffering from internal injuries or other issues. So, whatever happens, it’s imperative that you stop.
#2. Call For Help
There are several measures which can be taken while you wait for the police and emergency services to arrive. Nonetheless, the sooner you call them, the sooner they will arrive. As such, you should always call them at the earliest possible stage.
Even if there are no major injuries, this will give you the best chance to file your claim with the insurers and potentially sue a wrongful driver. Meanwhile, the medical staff will be able to assess victims for potential injuries, including those that may not be seen.
Depending on the nature of the crash, you may need to focus on getting people away from dangerous situations first. After all, nothing is as important as your safety.
#3. Warn Other Drivers
In the event itself, your only concern will be trying to escape major danger. Once all vehicles are at a halt and the immediate danger is gone, you must think about other road users. The scene is going to cause major traffic problems, which is why you must warn drivers and divert them away from potential danger.
Hazard lights make a clear indication while you could also use flashlights, cones, and other materials can work wonders too. The authorities will use traffic directors once they’re on the scene. As long as you can protect the affected cars and passing vehicles until they arrive, you’ll be just fine.
#4. Make A Detailed And Accurate Record
Like you, the emergency services will put safety first. Once the situation is under control, though, they will want to make a record of the event. This will include gaining information from all parties. While you cannot worry too much about what others say, you can object and correct their false statements.
Most importantly, you must ensure that you express your account of things in a clear fashion. To do this, you must;
- Answer questions clearly and in detail.
- Let the officers know if you can’t remember a certain aspect. Speculation is never a wise idea.
- Advise them of any injuries, including minor ones. If unsure about potential injuries, say that you are unsure.
- Make sure they are aware that you were driving safely, and with your seatbelt on.
- Include details about the reckless driving of the person at fault.
#5. Gain Visual Evidence
Those documented reports will go a long way to aiding insurance claims and legal battles. However, you can make life a lot easier for your Daytona Beach car accident attorney by having visual evidence. Most people have digital cameras on their possession, even if it’s via their smartphones. Use them.
Take photographs of the accident scene as well as the car from multiple angles. Clearly showing the damage to your vehicle is vital, but you should also get photos of the other vehicles. This could come to your aid in the unlikely event that the other person purposely creates more damage and tries to blame you. In addition to the vehicle damages, you should take photos of your injuries.
If you have a dash cam that managed to record the incident, this can be very useful too.
#6. Exchange Information
Police officers should record the necessary information. However, it’s never a bad idea to get a copy for your peace of mind. After all, you will need those details throughout the ongoing claims. Make sure that you obtain;
- Their name and address.
- Car registration details.
- Insurance information.
- Telephone details.
If witnesses are happy to give you their details, this can be very useful information for your attorney too.
#7. Tell Your Insurer
The police demand full cooperation from all parties, so this will probably occur naturally. Still, you should contact your insurance firm to inform them of the crash before you’ve left the scene. Reporting the crash in a few weeks time, for example, could raise a few questions.
It’s also worth finding out whether your insurance coverage extends to medical bills through MedPay. If you do, there is an obligation to send your medical bills to the insurer. It’s worth noting that MedPay is available for all occupants of the vehicle.
Getting the insurance firm involved at the earliest stage is crucial, not least because it adds to the record.
#8. Seek Medical Attention
Even if you feel that you’ve escaped the accident without any major injuries, you should get checked out. Internal injuries from bleeding to brain injuries may not be visible at the scene of the crash, but they can cause major damage.
Besides, the adrenaline means that a lot of victims don’t feel pain until the following day. Sadly, if you’ve missed your chance to report them, this could make things very difficult. If you lost consciousness during the accident, even momentarily, getting checked out is key.
While this is important for your case, it’s more of a precaution focused on your health. Whatever you do, skipping this point is not an option.
#9. Seek Legal Advice
It certainly pays to keep a file for your own records. Perhaps the most vital step, at least for your legal battles, is to find a winning attorney ASAP. The best legal representatives will specialize in road accident cases and boast lots of experience. They should put your fears to bed too.
The attorneys will protect your rights along every step of the way. This includes providing insurance companies with statements. Unfortunately, some firms try to manipulate victims so that their claims can be rejected. The right lawyer will stop this from becoming an issue. They’ll also direct you to the best outcome if you do sue the driver at fault, or any governing body that caused danger through negligent behavior.
As well as compensation, they’ll fight to ensure you get the continued medical support. This includes both physical and mental rehab.
If you’ve followed the right course of action, the chances are that the authorities will come to the right conclusion. Leave the worrying to your Daytona Beach car accident attorney while you focus on getting back to full health, and back behind the wheel.