Sometimes, no matter how careful you are, accidents happen.
Our roads are getting busier. Statistics show there are over 227 million drivers on our streets and highways. And over 6 million cars were involved in accidents in 2019, according to Statista. While we hope those statistics don’t include you, Harper Law Firm is ready to be your car accident lawyer if they do.
Whether you’ve already been in a crash or just like to be prepared, here is what you should do if you are in a car accident.
What to do if you’re involved in a car accident
If you find yourself in a car accident, getting confused and even scared about what might happen is easy. But the best thing you can do is stay calm and follow these steps.
1. Stop your vehicle
Do not drive away from the scene of an accident, even if no one appears to be hurt. Instead, stop your vehicle and turn your hazard lights on to alert oncoming traffic. It’s important to stop your vehicle in the exact position it was in when you were hit. If you see the other vehicle involved in the crash driving away, try and write down their license plate number. You can even snap a photo with your phone.
2. Check for injuries
Make sure no one in your vehicle has been seriously injured. If everyone is okay, ask the other driver if there were any injuries to anyone in his car. If anyone was hurt, you need to call the police. Don’t try to move anyone who was injured, as you could make the situation worse.
3. Document damage
No matter little damage was done to the vehicles, it is always important to document it. Take photos and write down details of the incident while it is fresh in your mind. Vehicle damage may not look extensive on the outside, but internal damage may prove costly. It’s crucial to get photos of the scene so that accident reconstruction specialists can examine it. Try to capture different angles of the collision scene.
4. Exchange info
While you are documenting damage, it’s vital to exchange details with the other driver. This includes insurance information. The additional information you’ll need to collect include:
- Driver’s name
- License plate
- Types of vehicles involved
- Location of the cars
- Names and contact of any passengers or witnesses
5. Be cautious with your words
While you want to be sensitive to the other driver, do not admit you were at fault. And avoid apologizing in any way. Rather, stick to the basic details and keep away from being dragged into a conversation about the cause of the car accident.
6. Contact your lawyer
Once you have the crucial information, you should call a car accident lawyer. Insurance claims can get complicated, and you need to have solid legal advice for your own protection. If you’re in the San Antonio area, contact Harper Law Firm. We’ll advise you on the best way to handle the police report, insurance claim, and other issues around the car crash.
7. File a police report
With the help or support of your car accident lawyer, you’ll need to file a police report about the incident. Even if there was minimal damage to the vehicles, it’s a good idea to file a report in case you need it. Remember to ask for a copy of the report for your files.
8. Move your vehicle
When it is safe, you should move your car to the side of the road, out of the way of traffic. At this point, you should be able to turn off your hazard lights. If you’re not able to drive your vehicle, be sure to put up orange traffic cones around it and leave your hazard lights on. Call a tow company to have them come and remove your vehicle from the location.
9. Do not speak with any insurance company
Insurance companies have one goal, pay you as little as possible. This is true for your own insurance company. Their agenda is to trick you into saying something unfavorable to your case or get you to sign a settlement for pennies on the dollar. After your doctor and family, the first person you should contact is your injury lawyer.
10. Have a physical exam
Even if you feel fine and don’t think you were injured, it’s essential to see a doctor. People are often full of adrenaline during car accidents, and you may have felt any pain or discomfort. Yet, a few days later, you may start to suffer stiffness or some aches caused by the collision.
One of the best things you can do to protect yourself in a car accident is to always be prepared. Carry your insurance documents with you as well as a pen and paper. It’s also helpful to have the name and number of a reliable car accident lawyer with you, just in case.
Why you need a car accident lawyer in San Antonio
Car accidents can be very stressful experiences. And the stress doesn’t stop when you leave the scene. There is the police report that needs to be filed, and insurance claims to be made. It can feel overwhelming. But it doesn’t need to be. Working with Harper Law Firm can give you the peace of mind that you’ve got someone on your side.
With Harper Law Firm, we’ll walk with you every step of the way, from getting a medical examination to filing your insurance claim to court, if that’s where it goes. Our team will go over and above to help you recover and get the financial compensation you deserve.
You won’t need to worry about paying expensive car accident lawyer bills because we don’t get paid until you get your settlement.
If you’ve been in a car accident and need help with your claim or legal advice, contact Harper Law Firm today.