Vehicle accidents are a significant source of injuries and death in the United States. Over 4.6 million Americans suffered injuries from car collisions in 2016, and in Washington state alone, 536 fatalities took place from crashes.
If you ever find yourself in a car accident, you will understandably feel shaken up. However, it is vital to keep a clear head and follow these steps so you can get through complicated processes more efficiently.
1. Get to safety
Following a collision, your first thoughts should not be on lawyers or insurance agents. You should get yourself and any passengers to safety. Move the vehicle to the side of the road if you are capable. Put on your hazard lights so other drivers can see you better.
2. Document everything
Take pictures of both vehicles. It is also a good idea to take photos of the street because streets signs may be in a state of disarray. Various environmental factors may have contributed to the crash. If there are any witnesses, then write down their contact information so you can get their reports later.
3. Receive medical treatment
Contact an ambulance to take you and any passengers to the hospital. It is good to get any injured examined even if they do not appear severe just in case there is hidden damage. A doctor's report will also help with the insurance claim.
4. Talk to an attorney
Before speaking with your insurance provider, you want to talk to your lawyer first. Your attorney may tell you only to divulge specific pieces of information. Insurance companies will sometimes use even the most innocuous of statements to reduce coverage.
5. Follow doctor's orders
In the event you suffer an injury, you want to follow your doctor's directions precisely. Take any medication for as long as stated. If you forgo your doctor's recommendations, then your insurance agency could use that as evidence that your injury is not as severe as you initially claimed and deny coverage.