Important First Steps You Should Take After Suffering A Car Accident

Car accidents can be a bit scary when they happen, and you need to know what to do when it happens to you. What you do after a car accident can save your life, and though scary and shaking, you need to know what to do.

These steps aren’t anything out of the ordinary, but you may have forgotten all about them. These crucial steps will ensure that you also keep other road users safe even after the accident. Below are some of the essential steps to take after suffering a car accident. 

Don’t Leave

The last thing you want to do when you are involved in a car accident is to leave the scene. This can make you seem guilty even if you aren’t. It would help if you remained at the scene until the police come and take a statement from everyone involved. 

When you leave the accident scene, you can be charged and face a fine of up to $1000. You can also face jail time not exceeding one year when you flee from the scene. It won’t matter to the law who was at fault when you run. 

Move the Car to the Side

The next thing you need to do is to ensure that you and other road users are safe. You can do this by moving your car to allow flow of traffic. This should be the case, particularly when you are involved in an accident on a busy highway. 

When you move to the sides, you will ensure that no other car is involved in the crash. But you only need to move when there are no seriously injured people around. Also, it would help if you photographed the scene before you drive any vehicle. 

Assess the Scene

Before you move the car or make any other move, you need to have assessed the scene. This includes ensuring that you are okay, and if you have passengers, they are fine too. You can then go and check the other driver if they are okay. 

You can then go around and assess the scene before you move any further. This will ensure you know the level of the accident and if you can move the cars away. 

Call 911

The next step to take is to call 911 and ensure that the police show up. This may not be a legal mandate in most states, but you need to have the police present. This will ensure that no one changes their story in the future. 

If the police can’t come to the scene, you need to ensure that you drive to the station. Only leave when your statement has been taken. This may save you a lot as you report to your insurance; they may need you to provide them with a police report.

Document the Scene

It would help if you always documented the scene when you have been involved in an accident. Do this by taking several pictures and videos from different angles too. You can use your phone for these processes.

If you don’t have your phone, you can ask someone to document the scene for you. The pictures can help you in trial and also when you’re making your insurance claim too. When an accident happens, you may be impaired for a few minutes, and that’s where pictures and videos will come in handy. 

Get Medical Attention

Some injuries won’t show until after a week or so. But when you go to the hospital, they know where to look. They also have scans that will quickly detect these injuries as soon as possible, and you can get the help you need. 

That’s why you need to get to the hospital for a checkup after an accident, even if you feel there’s no damage. 

Retain Counsel

You now need to retain counsel after the dust settles. The first reason you need to have a lawyer is to get all your legal questions answered. There are several New Jersey car accident FAQ’s that a lawyer can quickly respond to you. It would help if you also had a lawyer for when you will be making your insurance claim. Insurance companies will have their lawyers for the negotiation. You need to have one too, who will protect your right and have your interest at heart. 

Conclusion

When you have been involved in a car accident, there are a few things you need to do. First, you need to ensure that other road users are safe and that you do everything legally. These are some of the steps that you can take after being involved in a car accident. 

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