What To Do If You Are Involved In A Car Or Motorcycle Accident
When you are involved in a car or motorcycle accident, it can be an experience that is rather disorienting. As a result, it can be difficult to think clearly and focus on what needs to be done immediately following the collision. However, what you do during this time can be crucial, as the well-being of yourself and others can depend on it.
Experts recommend that the following actions be taken after a motorcycle or car accident. It might be helpful to print off a checklist and store it in an easily accessible place, such as your glove compartment, to ensure that you complete all the steps.
If The Crash Is Not Serious, Move Off The Road
If the accident is a minor fender-bender, it is generally not important to leave the cars in the exact same position. In such cases, it is better to protect the safety of yourself and others by moving out of oncoming traffic to a safe place. From there, you can decide what to do next without dealing with the danger of traffic.
However, if your vehicle is disabled or the collision is serious, it is better to leave the cars as they are, so the police can file an accurate accident report. Remain at the scene of the accident until you are told by law enforcement to leave, as failing to do so may lead to criminal hit-and-run charges.
Check For Injuries And Get Help
Once you have moved out of traffic (or moved yourself and your vehicle’s occupants to a safe area), check with everyone involved to see if there are any injuries. Call an ambulance if necessary. Do not move anyone who is unconscious or has back or neck pain, as this can exacerbate the injury.
After this has been done, assess the damage caused by the car or motorcycle accident. If there is property damage or someone has been injured (or is dead), call the police. Once the police have arrived, make sure to request a copy of the accident report. Write down the names and badge numbers of the officers involved and the accident report number (if available), as this information will likely be needed later.
In addition to the police officers’ information, it is important to note down the names, addresses, phone numbers and drivers’ license numbers of those involved in the collision. Also, take down the make, model and license plate numbers of all vehicles involved along with their relative positions. Finally, get the insurance information, including carrier name and policy number, of all involved.
If there are any witnesses to the accident, write down a summary of what each person saw along with their names, addresses and phone numbers. Doing so can preserve crucial evidence that may be important in the future.
Document The Scene
Using a camera or cellphone, take photographs of the scene of the accident from several angles. Also, photograph any injuries sustained. As soon as possible, store the pictures in a secure location, as phones often get broken or lost. Keep extensive records and copies of bills regarding any medical treatment received, as it can ensure that you are fairly reimbursed by your insurance carrier.
If you are injured, do not assume that your symptoms will go away in a few days. Instead, get a medical evaluation from a physician. Failure to do so may mean that your symptoms will be prolonged or get worse. A medical exam following an accident is covered by most automobile policies, so the cost to you should be minimal.
Consider Hiring An Attorney
Insurance companies have a significant financial interest in settling your claim before the extent of your injuries is known. In order to protect yourself, it is in your best interest to have the representation of an experienced personal injury attorney. An attorney can protect your rights and ensure that you receive all compensation due to you under your policy and by law.