In one instance, you’re cruising down the road, listening to music and in the next, your car is positioned awkwardly as another vehicle just crashed into it. You were just involved in an auto accident. What do you do?
Before you panic, get hysterical, or accuse the other driver of colliding into your car, take a moment to breathe. Once you have calmed down, you are going to want to assess your condition along with anyone else who was traveling in the vehicle with you. The next step is extremely important and a requirement that must be fulfilled in certain states.
If you are physically able to, you are going to want to try and move your vehicle out of the way so that it is not obstructing traffic. According to the U.S. Department of Transportation Federal Highway Administration, some states enforce Driver Removal laws that require motorists to move their vehicles out of the travel lanes following the occurrence of an accident. The U.S. DOT FHA says that Driver Removal law “aims to expedite the removal of damaged or disabled vehicles from the travel lanes to enhance the overall level of safety on the roadway and reduce associated congestion and delay.”
Below we outline the next set of steps you are going to want to follow after you have moved your vehicle to a safe area given you were able to do so.
If anyone has suffered injuries, be sure to express this to the department you contact so they can dispatch emergency medical personnel. There are two additional reasons why you want to call the police following a collision. The first is so that an officer can out and write up a formal report that details what transpired between you and the other vehicles involved. The second reason is that you want to be sure you do not violate any state laws.
In today’s day and age, nearly every person has a smartphone that has the capability of recording a high definition video. While you can’t go wrong with taking photos of the accident scene, recording a video might be even more beneficial to do as it can capture more. Not only might you be able to capture the damage, injuries, location of where the accident took place, and more, but you might also be able to capture your initial interaction with the other driver. Some of the little comments they might make such as “I’m sorry, I didn’t see you,” could have a significant impact on your claim.
After an accident, it is your duty to exchange information with the other drivers involved. This includes your name, driver’s license information, license plate number, insurance policy number, phone number, etc.
Once you have gathered yourself together you are going to want to report your accident to your insurer. While you may not be ready to submit your claim, the accident does need to be recorded.
Many car crash victims fail to realize the benefits of consulting with a car accident lawyer immediately after an accident. But we are here to tell you that retaining a legal expert, given you need one, is better to do directly after an accident while the evidence is still fresh.
Now, if you need help locating an accident attorney in your area following a collision and want to be sure the lawyer you choose is a legal expert, contact USAttorneys.com for help.