On average, around six million car accidents occur annually in the United States. Thankfully, most of them don’t result in injury to the vehicle’s occupants, only the vehicle itself. It’s estimated that of these six million accidents, around one in three results in injury to either the driver or passengers. Out of that one in three, around one in five of those accidents will lead to fatal injuries. It’s estimated that car crashes cost the United States $230.6 billion every year, which is around $820 per person. With this in mind, here is what you need to do if you get in a car accident:
What to do Following a Car Crash
If you’re involved in a car crash, there are several things that you must make sure you do in order to protect yourself and your interests.
Stop and Secure the Scene
Failing to stop at the scene of an accident is a criminal offense. No matter how minor, you should always stop. If the road is obscured by wreckage, you should keep your hazard lights on to warn other drivers.
Call the Police
Even if nobody has been seriously injured, it makes sense to call the police. It’s likely that you’ll need a police report in order to file a successful claim with your insurance company. Vehicles that are involved in the accident should remain where they are so the police can get a better idea of who is at fault.
Make an Accurate Record and Take Some Photographs
When the police arrive, make sure you tell them everything that you can remember. Spare no details, but ensure you’re being totally accurate. It’s important to say you’re not sure if you’re asked whether you’re injured or not, as the injuries sustained in a car crash are unlikely to manifest for a few days after the incident. If you don’t have a dashcam, you should take a few photographs using your cellphone.
Seek Medical Attention
Even though the most common types of injuries caused by car accidents are not immediately apparent, you should still get yourself checked over by medical professionals. Unless you’re absolutely sure that you were not injured, for example, if it was a very low-speed crash, you should consider either attending your local emergency room or booking an appointment with your physician.
Report the Crash to Your Car Insurance Company
You should notify your insurance company as soon as you’re able to. It’s a common feature off most policies that they’re only valid if your report crashes immediately.
Protect Your Rights and Yourself
The most important thing that you should do after being involved in a car accident is to contact the team at Cesar Ornelas Law. We can help to protect your rights and ensure that valuable evidence isn’t tampered with, lost, or destroyed. It’s highly likely that your insurance company will want you to make a statement immediately after your accident, getting legal advice from one of the team can ensure that you receive the full compensation that you’re entitled to as well as getting the best medical treatment you can.
Originally from Kyle, Texas, Mr. Ornelas is a first-generation college graduate and a first-generation attorney.
Licensed in Texas, Cesar Ornelas’s nationwide practice is entirely contingency fee-based and consists of a wide variety of catastrophic personal injury and death cases. He has represented countless victims of catastrophic accidents across the United States.