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How To React Immediately After A Car Accident

Even minor car accidents can leave drivers and passengers feeling shaky and disoriented. But keeping a cool head in the minutes that follow is crucial. If ever you or a loved one is involved in a car accident, what action should you take? In what order? If injuries are involved, how can you avoid damaging your chances of obtaining personal injury compensation? Our post this week provides you with four tips.

Even minor car accidents can leave drivers and passengers feeling shaky and disoriented. But keeping a cool head in the minutes that follow is crucial. If ever you or a loved one is involved in a car accident, what action should you take? In what order? If injuries are involved, how can you avoid damaging your chances of obtaining personal injury compensation? Our post this week provides you with four tips.

Put safety first

  • If anyone is injured, call 911 immediately. In serious cases, minutes count.
  • Turn on your hazard lights. If you have safety cones, triangles or flares, set them in place around the accident scene. If possible, move the car to the roadside.
  • When taking photos of the accident scene, be especially careful of your surroundings.

When to call police?

It’s not always necessary to bring the police onto the scene. Call them only in the following cases:

  • Vehicle damage looks like it values more than $2000
  • Someone is injured
  • One of the drivers seems drunk, high or guilty of another criminal offence

If none of the above apply, you can go to local Collision Reporting Center. Do so within 24 hours to file a police accident report. You may need it later to make an insurance claim.

Act fast Dont lose the evidence.

  • If witnesses saw the accident, ask them to stay or get their contact information. Their testimony can be invaluable in determining fault and supporting your insurance claim.
  • Take photos of the cars and accident scene – and do so from many different angles
  • Record vehicle, insurance and contact information from the other parties
  • Record an account of the accident, either on paper or on a cell phone voice recorder
  • Keep this accident worksheet in your glove box to guide you

Handling your insurer Dont incriminate yourself

Many drivers contact their insurer immediately after an accident. This can be a big mistake. Many drivers inadvertently admit responsibility, answer questions or sign documents that could later harm their insurance claim – and their chances at gaining fair compensation.

How can you avoid this mistake? Call a personal injury lawyer first. Consultations are usually free. A lawyer can assess your case, help you avoid inadvertently damaging it, and talk with the insurer on your behalf.

Have you or a loved one been involved in an accident? Did you follow the tips we discussed? If not, have a discussion now. Share the tips and put yourself in a better position to face the unexpected.

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