Over six million car accidents occur each year in the United States. Fortunately, this mostly involves property damage (as in damage to the vehicle and not the occupants). But a car accident can happen in the blink of an eye, potentially causing serious injuries and leaving your car worse for wear. The facts are that one in three accidents involve personal injury to the driver or passengers, and out of that number two out of every ten lead to fatal injuries. Those statistics are terrifying but it’s important for people to be aware that driving has the potential to be dangerous.
Too many people get into a car and think that nothing will ever happen to them. It’s not something that you want to think about, but the moment you get into your car and drive off you are at risk of getting involved in a car accident. Car accidents do happen though, and unfortunately you can’t know exactly when they will happen since they are just an accident. This is why, it’s important to make sure that you know what to do if you are ever caught up in an accident and how you should go about things after an accident has occurred.
Document the Accident
Unless you are seriously injured and are unable to move, you should make sure that you document as much as you can about the accident. Where did it happen? When did it happen? Who was involved? You should make sure to take pictures of all the cars involved, noticing any damage and how they are positioned. It’s not just the cars that you should take a picture of either, you should make sure to get pictures of the area, any traffic signals, lane markings, junctions – anything that you think might have contributed to the crash.
There are a few other things that you need to document as well, things like the time of day, which direction you were going; how fast you were driving, what the weather was like; what colour was the other driver’s car and what make was their car. All of these are really important details, it doesn’t matter how small it is, you should make a note of everything, as this will help you when it comes to getting your insurance claim sorted out at a later date. Without any evidence, how can the insurance companies know who is to blame and who is not?
Consider Hiring an Attorney
When a car accident occurs, it’s up to the insurance companies to try and determine who is at fault and which party is liable. However, insurance companies have specifically trained people who’s job it is to negotiate and save as much money as possible. For a fairer and better deal (particularly for the person who wasn’t at fault), it’s better to make use of a car accident attorney, as they can help argue your case, and will have your best interest at heart.
The best thing that you can do after an accident is consult with an attorney, as they can protect your rights and make sure valuable evidence is not destroyed. Although you don’t have to use an attorney, this Tampa car accident lawyer explains how using a specialist auto accident lawyer with experience handling different types of injury accident cases can be very advantageous.
Your attorney can also advise you on issues ranging from how to make sure you are fully compensated for your vehicle, to how you can make sure you get the best medical treatment available (particularly if you have been injured as a result of the accident). Most attorneys will also work on a contingency fee basis, meaning that you don’t have to worry about legal fees unless you are fully compensated for your injuries.
Focus on Your Recovery
When it comes to after the accident though, the most important thing that you can do is focus on your recovery. Even if that means that you need to take time off from work. If you have a legitimate reason for missing work, then you should be able to claim that back. Don’t just miss work though because you can’t be bothered to go in. But if you are dealing with things like broken bones, a head injury then you need to make sure that you have recovered from these first before you return to work.
You can’t know what your recovery timeline will be as this varies depending on the injury, the patient’s age and the general health of the person. A younger healthy patient is more likely to recover faster than an older patient though. However, it doesn’t matter how old you are, the best thing that you can do to recover from your injuries is to follow your clinician’s advice, participate in physical therapy, get plenty of sleep and eat a well-balanced diet. If you are interested in finding out more about what you need to do after an accident, check out this article here about questions to ask after a car accident.