When you’ve been involved in an auto accident of any kind, both emotions and adrenaline can run high. This is why it is important to be prepared in advance. What you do immediately following an accident can have a significant impact on your life for months or even years following the accident. Depending on the severity of the accident, it can even impact the rest of your life. Here are 3 important reasons you want to play it safe after an accident and why you want to do so.
Many of the most serious injuries from automobile accidents are not immediately noticeable. This is particularly true of head, neck and spinal injuries. While you may feel fine after an accident, if you or any of your passengers hit your heads or were jarred or jolted in any way, it is always best to seek immediately medical attention. Not only can this prevent you from suffering a more serious injury, but if you wait until you start showing symptoms before seeking medical attention, it becomes more difficult to prove your injuries were the result of the accident.
While it may be natural to apologize after an accident, it’s important that you don’t. In some cases, that can be seen as an admission of fault. That may stall any further investigation which may turn up evidence that you were not actually at fault even if you initially think that you were. Further, you also do not want to sign anything at the scene of the accident.
Even if you were not at fault, you should notify your own insurance company as soon as possible. Take photos of any damage incurred and the area surrounding the accident, particularly if there were extenuating factors that contributed to the accident, such as a tree limb blocking a stop sign from view. This will not only help your claim, but it can help keep other parties from claiming damages that were not actually the result of the accident. Make sure and collect insurance information from any other drivers as well as any other information you can. If there were witnesses, try and get their information as well. If police are called, make sure and get a copy of the police report. Depending on the severity and circumstances of the accident, you may also want to call a vehicular accident attorney immediately.
It may be helpful to keep an accident checklist in your vehicle with other important documents. At the very time when it is most important to keep a clear head, it’s also sometimes the most difficult to do. Accident scenes are often frenzied, chaotic affairs. The more prepared you are in advance, the better you are likely to weather it if the need arises.