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10 Steps to Take after You Get into a Car Accident

Giancarlo Perlas June 27, 2021
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Image by Pixabay from Pexels

Suppose you own an automobile, the chances of getting into a crash increase significantly. Despite following all the traffic guidelines, you will still encounter drivers that do not. Since two in ten accidents lead to fatalities, you should understand what to do if you are involved in a road accident.

In most cases, when you know the procedure of seeking medical help, you double your chances of survival. Furthermore, if you caused the accident, you will need to know how to handle the situation to decrease your chances of incarceration. For instance, if you collide with another car due to drunk driving, a direct call to the DUI attorneys near you gives you the confidence to assert your right to preserve valuable evidence.

Although driving under the influence is a crime with strict consequences, ensure the police don’t misreport your alcohol levels. In the courtroom, these levels determine whether you pay a fine or get a prison sentence. Usually, if there were fatal injuries, you will get a harsh punishment than vice versa. Nonetheless, the following steps will guide you through the initial trauma of a collision:

1. Fight the Urge to Run

After the collision, if you are still cognizant, adrenaline kicks in, and you might get tempted to drive or run away from the scene. This reaction is especially true if you have multiple DUIs and want to avoid punishment. Unfortunately, a hit-and-run can get you a sentence of up to 15 years in prison, something you can avoid by staying at the crime scene until the police and medical practitioners arrive.

2. Protect the Scene

You can get out of your car and check on the other driver. If there are no severe injuries, you can move to the side of the road and wait for the police. In case the other driver is injured, call the emergency hotline immediately. Of course, assuming that you are injured, tell the other driver or passerby to call the ambulance.

Keep your headlights as you wait whenever there is a car accident at night. If your lights are not working, use a flashlight instead.

3. Call the Police

Your call police station should be among the first because they have jurisdiction over road accidents. Moreover, they can sign your insurance statement before you present it to your insurance company. Ensure your vehicle remains where it is after the accident unless it interferes with the traffic flow. Supposing that your car is blocking traffic, take pictures of it before the police move it.

Lastly, let the police take your account of events for a court day statement. Accurately give all the details you recall without hesitation. If you cannot remember certain parts of the car accident, make it clear to the investigators. Please do not make assumptions or estimations of facts; some injuries or impact trauma can manifest hours after the accident. In addition, confirm that all the accounts given by the other drivers are true. 

4. Take Pictures

Aside from the damage to your vehicle, photograph any injuries you might have because these pictures will serve as evidence during the investigation. In addition, your insurance company will also use these pictures while assessing your compensation claim.

5. Exchange Information

First, get the name, address, and telephone number of the other drivers involved in the accident. Secondly, obtain the same information from passengers; they might come in handy as witnesses of the defense. Thirdly, get information from passers who witnessed the collision. Similarly, they can also support the details of your account to the police and insurance company. Last but not least, the contact of all insurance companies of the cars involved in the accident.

Typically, the police detectives record all this information. For example, maybe you were unconscious after impact; you can acquire the above communication from the officers at the scene. Usually, each police officer is assigned a number; therefore, use these numbers to get the police report.

6. Report the Accident

The sooner you report your loss to insurance companies, the more likely you will get compensation or coverage. For instance, some companies offer car insurance with accident-related medical cover. First, find out if the insurance company will pay your medical bills; if they do, use it. If you have this medical coverage, submit your medical bills to the insurance company as early as possible.

Remember, if you already have Medipay benefits from your car insurance, your rates should not increase after using it, even if it was an offer used to entice. However, once it’s over, use the private health insurance coverage. Fortunately, Medicare covers the bills of all vehicle occupants at the time of the car accident. 

7. Seek Medical Attention

Now that you have a medical cover visit a hospital emergency room (ER) for screening. Sometimes, accidents cause internal bleeding, which is the leading cause of fatalities among car accident-related injuries. Most of the pain will not manifest until a couple of days later; who knows; it might be too late for you then.

Even if you lost consciousness for a few minutes after the impact, you should visit your doctor for clarification. Chronic conditions such as spinal cord injuries are often a culmination of minor untreated traumas. Therefore, avoid permanent damage to your vital organs by visiting the doctor for a thorough screening.

8. Keep a File

As mentioned earlier, reports and pictures from the scene are proof of your account. This information should be as detailed as necessary, including official names and updated contact addresses. Missing a witness or misreporting a detail can alter your chances of compensation or acquittal.

9. Protect Your Rights

Of course, despite the situation, you have a right to legal representation. Do not hesitate to consult with your attorney about the possible direction of your case or insurance claim. Unfortunately, insurance companies tend to rush you whenever there’s an accident. This process might confuse you especially  if it is your first time filing for a claim. If you are not careful, you might give incriminating information unknowingly. Therefore, your attorney should be at your beck and call throughout the whole process.

10. Get Help

Granted that you have more than two DUIs, you need to get help from professionals; because, ultimately, your luck will run out. The court will withdraw the plea, and you will have to serve a sentence. So, before it becomes worse, get assistance with your alcohol use disorder (AUD). Then, get your life back on track before you get behind another steering wheel.

Better yet, if you are a social drinker, always have a designated driver. You can get the drinking etiquette for Diageo’s website; learn about the practice of safe drinking.

Final Thoughts

It will never be safe for you to drink and drive. It is not only illegal but also has struck punishments in different states. However, the rate of alcohol consumption is at an all-time high due to the pandemic. Therefore, the power to alleviate drunk driving still lies in your ability to stay safe and abstain from driving under the influence. All the safety features found in modern cars can only warn you about impending danger, not stop it.

Although different alcohol levels in your blood affect your body differently, alcohol levels of as little as 0.08% can reduce your cognitive ability to react to an oncoming car. Yet, practical driving depends on your ability to turn at a bend and stop at crosswalks quickly. So please be on the safe side, don’t drive even after drinking a small amount of alcohol.

Understandably, if you are dealing with alcohol, get help. That decision will save both your life and that of other passersby. The misconception of immunity to alcohol’s effects will cost you your life and that of your loved ones.

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