While driving is quite an enjoyable activity that could help you take your mind off things, it can also be quite a dangerous one if you’re not careful. Even if you are, it happens very often that a person has an accident because of the mistakes of others, and it can be a life-altering event.
Car accidents become especially more complicated if you experience one when you’re away from home, and you’ll have to do some things to ensure that you get out of that accident with your rights preserved so you could begin recovering.
Stop and preserve the scene
It is crucial that you don’t drive away from the scene of the accident. Whether it was your fault or that of the other person, you need to stop and never drive away, no matter how small the accident was. Then, you need to ensure that the location of the accident is secured and that nothing gets tampered with.
For starters, put up flares or turn on your car’s flashers to prevent any further accidents or anyone bumping into the scene. Don’t move your car or the other person’s car until the police get to where you are.
Call the police
You then should call law enforcement officers wherever you are because they need to come and prove in their reports that there was an accident in that location. You should take this step even if nobody was injured because you most likely will need police reports for insurance claims.
So, remember to call the police after preserving the scene of the accident without moving anything. It’s also very important that you never admit responsibility. Even if the accident was caused by you, never admit it on the scene, and wait for the insurance company to do all the talking on your behalf. That is what you pay them for, and they will know how to handle situations like that without getting you into too much trouble.
One of the most important things you need to do if you have a car accident is documentation, especially if you are away from home. Start by taking the phone numbers and contact information of everybody that was involved in the crash, including full names, addresses, license plate numbers, and any other piece of information that might be important. You need to also get their insurance information and vehicle identification number, which will prove to be very useful when you do contact the insurance company.
Documentation also means that you need to take pictures of everything in the accident scene. You never know when you’ll really need it, but it always helps if you have visual proof of the scene to back up any claim you’re going to be making in the future with insurance companies. So, photograph the vehicles from all angles and their location on the street, and also take pictures of your own injuries to serve as proof in the future.
Contact an attorney
This might just be the most important step you will have to take after experiencing a car crash away from home. Let’s say you were in the city of Columbia, for instance, and you crashed your car. You’ll have to find an experienced car accident lawyer who’ll know all the right questions to ask to get you the right compensation.
It is important that you deal with someone specialized in these cases because an ordinary lawyer will not be able to get you compensation if you sustained injuries or crashed your car. The right attorney will have answers to all the questions you might be thinking of, and they will help you find out just how you can be compensated for the damages that ensued after the incident.
Reach out to your insurance company
If your car is insured, it helps if you contact your insurance company from the scene of the incident. Maybe the police officer could give them more accurate details on what happened, and they might have questions to ask you about the scene, which might prove beneficial in the future. Other than that, you should also learn whether your insurance covers medical benefits, because you’re going to need that if you’re admitted to a hospital.
If not, then be sure to keep track of each and every medical bill you will pay, because it will definitely play into your lawyer’s negotiations as they discuss the compensation you deserve. Medical bills, damage to your car, physical and emotional suffering on your end, and several other factors are taken into consideration when it comes to compensation.
Go to the hospital
Now that you’ve documented all you can and got all the necessary information that you might need, you should go to the nearest hospital to seek medical attention. It’s imperative that you do that because injuries sustained after car accidents don’t always show up at first.
So, you need to get a full body checkup to ensure that you didn’t sustain any internal injuries. Spine injuries are very common in these kinds of accidents, and chances are you will not even feel a thing until the following morning. This is why you need to be properly checked, as you’ll get to catch any internal problems early on.
Keep track of your records
Create a separate file that includes all documents and records related to the incident. Everything from insurance claims to the names and numbers of everyone that was involved in the incident needs to be there. That way you make sure that those documents won’t get lost and will be available whenever your attorney asks for them. You should also keep bills and receipts for any expenses you might have paid during your recovery, so that they can be included in the compensation claim.
It’s never easy going through a car crash, especially away from home. But you need to remain calm and follow these steps to ensure you get properly compensated. Remember that these cases take time, so never give up until you get your full rights. And always consult with a specialized attorney to get a fair compensation.