Figuring in a vehicular accident, whether in a car or on a motorbike, is something that is traumatic all in itself. Such an occurrence makes you realize just how fleeting life can be. Apart from the mortality realizations and the feeling of elation at surviving such an accident, these events usually come with a whole lot more than you will need to face.
When you are in an accident, you will need to do a few things before calling your insurance adjuster to file your insurance claims. In fact, this is essentially the last thing you should be doing, and should not even be foremost on your mind after an accident. What are the first five things you need to do after you are injured in a vehicular accident?
Call 911 – This is the very first thing you should do when you are in an accident and are still able to move around even if you are injured. The good thing is, almost everyone in the US is wired to immediately call this number when something bad happens, so calling 911 is already a given. If you don’t call 911, and there are witnesses to the accident, you can be sure one or more of these witnesses will do the calling for you.
Don’t leave the scene of the accident – This is only applicable if you are not seriously injured. In this situation, you need to gather as much information as you can. Get information on the other party (if the accident involves more than one vehicle or a pedestrian), take photos, and get information from witnesses in order to ascertain why the accident happened and who is at fault. Leaving the scene of the accident can be misconstrued as you do a hit and run, so unless you need to get to a hospital, stay put.
File a police report and get a copy – This is another important step you should not miss doing after an accident. If you had to be taken to the hospital to be treated for injuries, talk to the police who accompanied you to the hospital about what happened. Ask the cop you talked to for a copy of the report so you can use this for when you file an insurance claim. One thing you should never do however is to admit that the accident is your fault. Let the investigative team assigned to your case determine this without you tainting the verdict with your proclamations.
See a Doctor – If you were seriously injured in the accident, seeing a doctor should be at the top of this list. If the injuries were minor, however, seeing a doctor can be done after you have talked to the police. Do not forgo this step even if you feel you are okay or you do not see any signs of serious injuries.
You may have underlying injuries that are just not visible or apparent to you at that moment due to the adrenalin rush of what happened. Seeing a doctor after everything has been said and done will give you the evidence you need to support personal injury claims, should you need these.
Contact your lawyer – This is just to ensure that your lawyer knows what happened to you and to prepare for the possibility of any cases that may arise from the accident. Any cases that may possibly result from such an event include personal injury cases, wrongful denial of insurance claims, and to stop any attempts at negotiating settlements with you regarding your rightful compensation. If you do not have a lawyer, get one who can help you when the time for these settlement negotiations and claims arise.