What Legal Steps Can I Take as an Auto Accident Victim?

Getting into an auto accident can make you feel terrified, overwhelmed, and unsure of the correct steps to follow. During the summer time there is a rise in the number of auto accident cases. If you ever face this unfortunate occurrence, you’ll be glad you were prepared ahead of time. Law offices such as Delventhal Law Office can assist you in this difficult situations. When you are able to take action promptly, you can ensure the party at fault is liable for the damages they have caused. Here are some legal steps you can do in case you become a victim of an auto accident.

Remain calm.

In any kind of situation, staying calm is one of the most important things you should do. After an accident, you should take a deep breath in order not to lose your cool. Do not try to leave the scene since you might be accused of being a hit-and-run driver to which consequences would multiply.

Check all the passengers and drivers.

You ought to make sure all the people involved in the accident including yourself are safe before you assess the damages. You should get medical help if you or anyone got hurt or injured. For victims who are unconscious or has a back or neck injury, they should not be moved until medics arrive. Although there is no apparent physical damage, it is still advisable to call an ambulance. It is because the pain from injuries may show up a couple of weeks after the accident.

Call the police.

Obtaining an accident report from the police is helpful to establish liability. In filing an accident report, a police officer will go to the scene and interview the parties involved. Even though the accident is minor, you should still call the police. Do not give in when the other driver tells you not to call them anymore.

Get personal information from the other driver and witnesses.

You need to obtain the other driver’s name, contact details, and address. You need to get the insurance information such as the company name and the policy number. For the other people involved and witnesses, it will be a great help to you if you get their names, address, and telephone numbers. When people refuse to share their personal information with you that is a bad sign. Take out your phone or camera and take a picture of the license plate on the vehicle, a picture of the vehicle of the individual, and a picture of the damages. This will give the police evidence to track down the guilty party involved who refused to give you their information or in some cases, lied about their identity.

Call your insurance company.

Although the accident is not your fault, call your insurance company and report what happened the soonest possible time. You can provide them the personal information obtained from other drivers. Wait to do this until the police report has been filed to make sure your insurance rates don’t rise, but that the party at fault is held personally responsible for all damages.

Never say sorry or admit that the accident is your fault.

Because a car accident is an unfortunate event, you may probably want to apologize to the other party. However, this is not a good idea since it is similar to admitting that you were the one who caused the accident. If the fault is not clear, you should avoid giving any statement. It might just be used against you.

Finally, auto accidents are inevitable for drivers. The aftermath is a hard and long process. It obviously becomes more complicated if you or another gets seriously injured. Therefore, seeking the help of a personal injury lawyer is important.