Multiple reports say that the number of car accidents saw a sharp rise during the intermittent lockdowns. Even the rate of crash deaths during the quarantine periods saw an increase. This is because in general, people exhibit riskier behavior when there are fewer cars on the road, and that is usually what happens when stay-at-home orders are in place.
Now more than ever, drivers need to be careful while driving and avoid mistakes that can cost them their lives. But there are also a lot of safety precautions they need to take if they find themselves in a fender bender. Here are some measures drivers and their passengers need to do during and after a car accident.
Call law enforcement to the scene of the accident immediately
Some drivers involved in a car accident often choose not to call the police for multiple reasons. Sometimes they think they can handle it, or the damage is too minor to bother, and they’re in a hurry. But not calling law enforcement can be a costly mistake because the police report helps you and your car accident attorney in case the other party decides to pursue a case.
In California for example, if anyone is injured or if the car damage amounts to more than $750, the accident must be reported to the Department of Motor Vehicles within ten days.
The other party, the insurance company, and their lawyer would have a hard time denying your claim if the police were able to investigate the scene and files an official report. Don’t leave or run away from the scene, even if the other party does. Leaving can undermine your credibility and cause harm to your claim. If you’ve been in an accident, you have a legal obligation to stay on the scene, even if you didn’t cause the crash.
Seek medical attention
Insurance companies can argue that there were little to no injuries so they can deny or reduce the value of your claim. Allowing a doctor to examine you after the accident can determine if any injury, pain, or discomfort you feel was caused by the accident, and insurance companies would find it difficult to argue against a medical certificate.
Don’t admit fault
When you admit fault, you also take on financial liability over the damages. At the same time, you will be helping insurance companies and the other party’s attorneys in shifting the blame on you. Don’t admit fault, but don’t lie and don’t say anything that’s not necessary. Let the lawyers and the police uncover for themselves the facts of the crash.
Make sure to gather evidence at the scene
If the accident is too severe, emergency response teams and law enforcement will gather the evidence to file the official police report. But in cases where drivers can still function, they need to be able to gather evidence such as pictures and videos to show the extent of the damage.
They also need to secure the dashcam and other devices that would have been able to record what happened, except for CCTV cameras, which law enforcement can take care of. There are always three sides to every story: yours, the other party, and the truth—and the evidence you gather can help you uncover the truth without bias.
Don’t post pictures of the accident or your injuries on social media no matter how tempted you are; investigators from the other party or the insurance company can and will use any evidence against you, including your social media accounts.
Report to your insurance company
Some drivers choose not to report to the insurance company when accidents are minor thinking it’s too much of a bother, but it’s to your protection and benefit to contact your insurance even if you weren’t at fault and regardless of the extent of the damage. Failing to report the accident can result in a denied claim, and in some cases, even policy cancellation.
Trust Your Lawyer
Going through a vehicular accident or collision can cause so much frustration and hassle, and even grief, when someone you know or love gets heavily injured or worse, passes away. The medical bills pile up and you go through so much struggle waiting for your car to get fixed.
You don’t have to shoulder this burden alone. Trust your attorney to help you get the best deal possible and to help you file a personal injury claim to cover your expenses and losses.
While you’re a careful driver, you don’t always have control of the road. In case of accidents, stay alert and know what you should do.