Car Accidents: Key Steps to Take After a Crash
You may have heard the adage that flying is safer than driving on the highway.
Statistics bear this out, especially in the age of distracted driving. There were about 6.5 million motor vehicle collisions reported to the police in 2017, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Commission. About 2.8 million of those collisions involved injuries to one or more parties, and 38,000 resulted in fatalities. Hundreds of thousands of those injuries are caused by texting and driving.
Avoid Distracted Driving
Not being distracted by handheld devices while driving is one way to avoid having a car collision. Aside from avoiding distracted driving, there are several other ways to avoid accidents:
- Always obey the rules of the road.
- Maintain your vehicle well to avoid sudden problems.
- Look ahead on the road for potential problems.
- Look out for those drivers trying to beat the red light – and those who fail.
- Never take your hand off the steering wheel.
- Don’t drive when tired or sleepy.
- Don’t drive when inebriated or even “buzzed.”
- When in doubt, call a cab or service.
Best Steps to Take Immediately After You’re Involved in a Motor Vehicle Collision
Sometimes, despite your best efforts at careful driving, you may be involved in a collision. In these situations, there are also steps you can take to make the best of a bad situation:
- Check yourself for injuries. If you know immediately that you are hurt, call for help. (You may not know immediately, so have yourself checked by a medical professional as soon as possible.)
- If you are able, observe the scene and take photos.
- Talk to witnesses if anyone is available.
- Don’t allow anyone to come into the scene of the collision unless necessary to help someone who is hurt.
- Call an attorney with experience representing people who have been in a motor vehicle collision.
- Call the police if they have not been alerted.
- Exchange insurance information with the others involved in the accident if possible.
- Report the accident to your insurance company.
- Remember to convey only the absolute necessary information to anyone, including medical professionals, about the accident.
Call an Auto Accident Lawyer to Cover All Bases After an Accident
Except for taking care of injuries, the call to an attorney may be the most important. They can advise you on speaking with the police, the insurance companies and anyone else. The police and the insurance claim agents have their own interests regarding your collision, and they often won’t align with yours. The attorney can make sure you don’t say anything that would harm your chances of receiving the money you’ll need to fix your car, take care of any medical bills that arise because of the crash and pay other bills while you miss work.