10 steps to follow after being in a car accident
Suppose you own an automobile, the chances of having an accident increase dramatically. Despite obeying all traffic rules, you will still come across drivers who don’t. Since two in ten crashes result in fatalities, you need to know what to do if you are in a traffic accident.
In most cases, when you know the procedure for seeking medical help, you double your chances of survival. Also, if you caused the accident, you will need to know how to handle the situation to decrease your chances of incarceration. For example, if you collide with another car for driving while intoxicated, a direct call to DUI lawyers near you gives you the confidence to assert your right to keep valuable evidence.
While driving under the influence is a felony with strict consequences, make sure the police do not mistakenly report your blood alcohol level. In the courtroom, these levels determine whether you pay a fine or get a prison sentence. Usually, if there were fatal injuries, you will get more severe punishment than the other way around. Nonetheless, the following steps will guide you through the initial trauma of a collision:
1. Fight the urge to run
After the collision, if you are still conscious, your adrenaline rushes up and you might be tempted to drive or flee the scene. This reaction is especially true if you have multiple DUIs and want to avoid penalties. Unfortunately, a hit and run can get you up to 15 years in prison, which you can avoid by staying at the crime scene until the police and doctors arrive.
2. Protect the stage
You can get out of your car and watch the other driver. If there are no serious injuries, you can move to the side of the road and wait for the police. If the other driver is injured, call the emergency hotline immediately. Of course, assuming you are injured, tell the other driver or passerby to call the ambulance.
Keep your headlights on while you wait whenever there is a car accident at night. If your lights aren’t working, use a flashlight instead.
3. Call the police
Your call the police station should be among the first because they have jurisdiction over traffic accidents. Plus, they can sign your statement of insurance before you present it to your insurance company. Make sure your vehicle stays where it is after the accident, unless it obstructs traffic. Assuming your car is blocking traffic, take a picture of it before the police move it.
Finally, let the police take your count of the events for a hearing day statement. Accurately give all the details you can remember without hesitation. If there are parts of the car accident that you can’t remember, make it clear to investigators. Please do not make assumptions or estimates of facts; some injuries or impact trauma can manifest themselves hours after the accident. Also, confirm that all reports by other drivers are true.
4. Take photos
Aside from the damage to your vehicle, photograph any injuries you may have as these photos will serve as evidence during the investigation. In addition, your insurance company will also use these images when assessing your compensation claim.
5. Exchange information
First, get the name, address, and phone number of the other drivers involved in the accident. Second, get the same information from passengers; they could be useful as defense witnesses. Third, get information from passers-by who witnessed the collision. Likewise, they can also provide your account details to the police and the insurance company. Last but not least, contact all the car insurance companies involved in the accident.
Typically, police detectives record all of this information. For example, you may have been unconscious after the impact; you can get the above communication from the officers at the scene. Usually each police officer is assigned a number; therefore, use these numbers to get the police report.
6. Report the accident
The sooner you report your claim to insurance companies, the more likely you are to get compensation or coverage. For example, some companies offer auto insurance with medical coverage in the event of an accident. First, find out if the insurance company will pay your medical bills; if they do, use it. If you have this medical coverage, submit your medical bills to the insurance company as soon as possible.
Keep in mind that if you already have Medipay benefits from your auto insurance, your rates should not increase after you use it, even if it was an offer used to entice. However, once it’s over, use private health insurance coverage. Fortunately, Medicare covers the bills of all occupants of the vehicle at the time of the car accident.
7. See a doctor
Now that you have medical coverage, go to a hospital emergency room for screening. Sometimes accidents cause internal bleeding, which is the leading cause of death among car crash injuries. Most of the pain won’t start until a few days later; who knows; it may be too late for you so.
Even if you were unconscious for a few minutes after the impact, you should see your doctor for clarification. Chronic diseases such as spinal cord injuries are often the culmination of untreated minor trauma. Hence, avoid permanent damage to your vital organs by visiting the doctor for a thorough screening.
8. Keep a file
As mentioned before, the reports and photos from the scene are proof of your account. This information should be as detailed as necessary, including official names and updated contact addresses. The absence of a witness or the erroneous declaration of a detail can affect your chances of being compensated or acquitted.
9. Protect your rights
Of course, despite the situation, you have the right to legal representation. Do not hesitate to consult your lawyer about the possible direction of your case or your insurance claim. Unfortunately, insurance companies tend to rush you whenever there is an accident. This process can be confusing, especially if this is your first claim. If you’re not careful, you could be giving incriminating information without knowing it. Therefore, your lawyer should be available to you throughout the process.
ten. Acquire help
Since you have more than two DUIs, you must seek professional help; because in the end your luck will run out. The court will withdraw the plea and you will have to serve a sentence. So, before it gets worse, get help for your alcohol use disorder (AUD). Then get your life back on track before getting behind another wheel.
Best of all, if you are a social drinker, always have a designated driver. You can get the consumer label for the Diageo website; learn about the practice of safe consumption.
It will never be safe for you to drive while intoxicated. It is not only illegal, but also hit penalties in different states. However, the rate of alcohol consumption is at an all time high due to the pandemic. Therefore, the power to alleviate drunk driving always lies in your ability to stay safe and refrain from driving under the influence. All modern car safety features can only warn you of impending danger, not stop it.
Although different levels of alcohol in your blood affect your body differently, alcohol levels as low as 0.08% can reduce your cognitive ability to react to an oncoming car. Yet practical driving depends on your ability to turn around a bend and stop quickly at crosswalks. So be careful, do not drive even after drinking a small amount of alcohol.
Of course, if you are dealing with alcohol, seek help. This decision will save your life and that of other passers-by. The misconception of immunity to the effects of alcohol will cost you and your loved ones life.