Driving a car entails a certain amount of responsibility. You have to be alert at all times, and you have to be aware of the workings of your vehicle. This is exactly the reason why all drivers must go through a driver’s license examination before they are given permission to drive any sort of motorized vehicle.
But what if you are stringently following the rules on the road and yet still become a victim of a vehicular accident through no fault of your own? Or what if you were merely distracted for an instant and suddenly hit another car or pedestrian on the street? In case this happens, here are some things you should keep in mind.
Stop your vehicle
Immediately upon collision with another vehicle, you must stop your own vehicle. If you can, place your vehicle in a position where it won’t be an obstruction to other drivers on the road. If you can’t maneuver your car, then it is best if you call a tow truck or call for passersby to help you move your vehicle to the side.
If someone is injured, call for help right away
If a passenger in your car or in the other car is injured, it is imperative that you call emergency services or 911 right away. If they are unconscious or not able to move, do not attempt to move them from the vehicle yourself. This might signal that they have a spinal injury or have suffered some serious head trauma, and moving them without professional assistance might only make the injury worse. Under no circumstances should you leave the injured person.
Give all your relevant information
If the other driver you have collided with asks for your name and other pertinent information, including your driver’s license number, give it to them. Give your name, address, contact number, vehicle registration, and driver’s license number to any police officer who arrives at the scene.
When do you need to report the accident to law enforcement?
If the accident is a hit and run, involves an injury or death, property damage that seems to exceed $500, or involves an intoxicated driver, call law enforcement officials immediately. They will be responsible for writing a report regarding the incident.
When do you file a crash report?
You are given up to 10 days from the date of the accident to file a crash report. But if an officer already writes the report, you don’t need to do it yourself. If you yourself have been injured and can’t file the report, a passenger who was with you in the vehicle can file it for you.
For any property damage or personal injury, you need to file a claim with your insurance company right away. If you are in the hospital because of injuries, the insurance claims adjuster would most likely give you a visit. It is important, however, to be aware of your insurance coverage and your rights. Look through your policy’s fine print to ensure that you are getting just compensation for property damage or for your injuries.
If you are in doubt as to the amount of compensation you are receiving, you can always ask for help from a Fort Lauderdale injury attorney who is well-versed in negotiating with any insurance company representative.