When you are involved in an accident, you will have to follow certain rules to ensure that you are within your legal rights of how to handle an accident. Not understanding the legalities can leave you in more trouble than the outcome of the accident itself. Here is some advice to consider when involved in any vehicle incident.
Prioritize Your Health And Safety First
The first thing that you want to do when you are involved in an accident is to ensure that you and anyone else involved is okay. If you are directly involved in a collision or crash, the first thing you should always do is to check yourself. Make sure you have not suffered any serious or life-threatening injuries. Check that you have the ability to move, that nothing is pinned, or that you haven’t lost mobility in your arms, legs, and other appendages. If you can safely remove yourself from the crash and from any danger, do so. Also check your body for cuts, abrasions, or wounds, as even surface damage can get infected and lead to problems in the future. Once you are safe, check to see if others involved are safe as well. Once you determine everyone is safe, you can proceed with subsequent steps in dealing with the accident. If not, and you see others still in a vehicle unable to free themselves, your call to the police should indicate the details of the situation so they can send the essential responders to the scene. Avoid moving people if they are not in immediate danger, as you can cause further injury.
Calling The Police
Once an accident has occurred, especially a more substantial one, you need to call the police. Even if you are unsure if you are filing any charges at that time, you want to call them to get emergency crews to the scene. They will also be able to call other services like tow trucks and firefighters to help with any property damage as well. Another benefit of having police officers respond to an accident is that they can record the details in a neutral manner. Having a record of witness statements, statements from both parties as to what transpired leading up to the accident, and a record of the evidence will be crucial in building any sort of case for legal purposes. Be sure to ask the officers on scene for the incident number to be able to access all the details of the accident.
Record Evidence With Pictures
If you are injury-free, one thing that you should do when you have determined that everyone is safe is to take some pictures or even record a video of the scene of the accident. This is important as you want to have evidence in order to help determine the cause of the accident. Your insurance companies will be looking for evidence in this manner as well, and this also proves useful if you are taking the other person to court if they are held liable, or vice versa if you are defending yourself against any claims. You can also seek out any witnesses to the accident, from other drivers to pedestrians in the area for their statements, as well as ask businesses that have cameras if you are able to access and use the footage. These are all important to determine exactly who is liable.
Hire A Lawyer
Whether you are dealing with insurance investigators and companies or having to deal with the other party involved in the accident, one important consideration you need to make is hiring a lawyer. The lawyers at www.samandashlaw.com emphasize the benefits of being able to provide drivers with significant aid through information and assistance when dealing with all the legal matters revolving around an accident. Lawyers can help ensure that you get the money you need from insurance companies and that they do not undercut you, preventing you from paying out of pocket. Of course, having legal advice is crucial when you are involved in any sort of court battle, whether you are suing the other party for their responsibility in the accident, or you are the one in question and need to defend your case.
Never Claim Responsibility
Even if you are responsible for the accident, you will not know the extent of what transpired. Claiming responsibility will admonish other parties that they do not need to claim their own responsibility, holding you solely accountable. Other drivers may be responsible, and you also need to consider other variables that may remove fault such as road conditions, pedestrians, and weather factors. An admission of fault at the scene can be legally binding and be used later against you.
Whatever you say at the scene of an accident can be used in court. Be sure to be wise with your words, and refrain from making claims to the responsibility as well as your health, unless you know for certain. Be sure to cooperate with the police and be mindful of the others involved to get the situation resolved as quickly and painlessly as possible.