From the time you turn sixteen you are put on the road with millions of other drivers; while you may be a safe driver, most others are not, and it is more than likely that you will be involved in an accident at some point in your life. The Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles releases an Annual Citation report where it states that in 2019 there were 1,926,832 fined for moving violations of some sort. Over 75% of those citations were involved in car wrecks, and that number doesn’t even include the people that were not found guilty in the event of a car wreck. When you’re involved in a collision with another person, it turns into a very long and messy process, and could end up being extremely expensive or painful for you! Below are a list of guidelines to follow in order to ensure the best possible turnout post car wreck by building the best possible case and monitoring your health.
Do NOT Leave/Flee the Scene of the Car Accident
If you find yourself in the middle of a collision with another car, your first reaction is probably a fearful approach and you might want to drive away, but if you drive away it could result in criminal charges on your end.
Call the Police & Paramedics
Immediately call 911 and inform them of the accident, while you wait try to refrain from moving your car to avoid further damage. Try to make sure it is out of the way of any oncoming traffic. When the police show up they will be able to address the situation and aid you through the process.
Check for Car Accident Injuries
Give yourself a look and see if there are any open wounds or aches and pains, if you feel the slightest bit of pain or discomfort anywhere then you should seek medical attention. Even if the pain is barely noticeable at the moment, it could be the result of shock that’ll wear off and the pain will feel worse later on.
Try to document absolutely everything in photographs if possible. Take pictures of both your car and the other person’s car from every angle, and different positions in each angle. If you have any external injuries, take pictures to show the extent of those as proof of trauma. If there is any damage to personal objects or signs of glass of blood, make sure to document all of that to build your case to the outside person looking at all of it. All of these will provide proof if the other person makes any outside claims and strengthen your position as well.
Trade Contact Information with the Other Driver
You’re going to want to have as much information on the other driver as possible, this includes: license plate number, phone number, email, insurance provider, insurance policy number, and address. This will all help with communication through the process and make things a little bit easier, it will also help legal aid in the process.
If there are any witnesses to the scene you’re going to want to communicate with them and see if they would allow you to take their contact information down as well so you have an outside point of view and insight on the situation. This will help with the insurance company.
Seek Medical/Chiropractic Attention
Post car wreck, you may be experiencing some injuries. If there are any external wounds you should visit the ER immediately, if there are no visible wounds that does not mean you aren’t injured. Any discomfort or pain could be the result of the collision and needs attention from a professional, most people ignore it or just go to the ER and receive pain medicine for a quick relief. This doesn’t always help in the long run, if you are feeling internal pain it may benefit to seek chiropractic care. There are many car wreck specialists who focus solely on repairing damages due to collisions. If you visit a chiropractor they can provide you with a full assessment of your injuries and turn them into your insurance company or lawyer to help your case. They will also work to fully repair your injuries over time.
Hire a Personal Injury Attorney
Hiring an experienced car accident attorney will help with your claim, he/she will negotiate with your insurance company and provide all necessary information to build your claim and come to an agreeable settlement. They will also handle all communications with the other party to make sure everything is properly handled.
Request Police Report
You will need to obtain a copy of the police report to give to your attorney and your insurance provider. This will give both sides proof from the initial accident and help them keep it honest through the process. DO NOT give a copy to the other person’s insurance. If they need information they can contact your lawyer.
Contact Your Insurance Provider
It is extremely important to stay in contact with your insurance company throughout this process, when talking to them, make sure to be selective on what you say but always be honest. Never admit fault or talk to the other person’s insurance company. It may seem scary to communicate with your insurance company, but in the end it’s better to work with them to find the best solution.
A car wreck is quite literal in its name, it seems to “wreck” everything for quite some time, but if you follow these guidelines it will make the whole process just a bit smoother. Make sure to remain honest throughout the process, and keep in touch with your lawyer and insurance company to provide them with any information they need. If you are experiencing any pain post collision, make sure to seek attention from a chiropractor or in more extreme circumstances, go to the emergency room. These precautions are the best way to reduce the negative impacts of your car wreck.