It might surprise you to know that between 20 to 50 million people are injured in car accidents each year. In fact, car accidents are the ninth leading cause of death worldwide, with over 1.25 fatalities per year. And knowing what to do ahead if you’re involved in an accident could save you a lot of frustration and financial devastation. If you’ve been injured in a car accident, you need to know the steps to take immediately after it happens, especially if the injuries are minor. We say this because in cases where there are major injuries, decisions are typically made for you. Ambulances are dispatched, loved ones are called, and authorities take over. But when you are hurt in ways that are not visible or do not impair movement, the decisions you make next are crucial.
Do not leave the scene of the accident
No matter who is at fault, any driver involved in an accident that resulted in injury has certain legal obligations. Each state and country may vary in how they hold drivers responsible, but most require you to remain on or return to the scene and assess the damage. Failing to do so can result in some severe consequences. Canada law, for instance, states that leaving the scene of an accident is punishable by up to five years, suspension of license, a lifetime criminal record, and possible fines or other restitution. And this is true no matter who is at fault. And aside from criminal charges, you are also less likely to be able to win an insurance claim if you don’t wait for official reports.
Call your attorney
Most car accidents entail a lot of paperwork and hassle, especially where insurance claims are involved. If you or someone else was injured, do not hesitate to contact an attorney. A car accident lawyer Vancouver can guide you in the steps you should take and file the appropriate claims. He or she will let you know what documents you need, how to answer questions, and who to contact. Furthermore, it’s a good idea to never attend any proceeding or interrogation without your attorney, especially if you’re facing any criminal charges.
Call your insurance company
Your attorney will likely tell you to call your insurance company immediately. The sooner you call, the more likely you are to remember all the details of the incident. Your insurance company, along with your attorney, will need all the documentation from your accident. This will include police reports, witness statements, and medical records. You will also need to put them in contact with your attorney, who will handle any disputes that may arise.
See a doctor
If your injuries were at all significant at the time of the accident, you may have been assessed by paramedics on the scene. But regardless of whether you’ve been treated or not, you’ll need to follow up with a physician. This is not just to keep you well and tend to your injuries. It is also so that you can obtain an appropriate assessment of any injuries that need to be reported to your attorney and insurance company. If you were not at fault in an accident, you might have to pursue legal measures in order to get help paying your expenses.
If you’re not sure what doctor to see, you can check out a review site such as HealthSoul to see what other patients are saying. Reviews and complaints about health care providers and facilities can give you a good idea of who can give you the best care.
While we do our best to avoid car accidents, sometimes they are inevitable. If you are involved in a car accident, keep these four steps in mind so that you can be well on your way to a full mental, physical, and financial recovery.