The average American travels a total of 13,476 miles a year in their automobile. To put that in perspective the distance around the Earth at the equator is 24,874 miles. So the average American drives over halfway around the Earth each year. With this amount of travel, accidents are bound to happen.
The average person has more than likely had their fair share of encounters with car accidents. Whether it be a personal experience, a friend or family member had an accident, driving by the scene of an accident, or going to Atlanta on I-85 and being stuck in bumper to bumper traffic. Car accidents are an everyday part of life in our society and it is not a matter of if I will be affected by an accident, it is a matter of when will I be affected by an accident and will I be prepared.
Automobile accidents are unexpected and can be extremely stressful situations. The best way to handle an automobile accident is to be prepared. If you are in an accident and you are not seriously injured the first thing you should do is move your vehicle to a safe area like the shoulder of the road. After you move your car, turn your flashers on to let traffic know your car will not be moving anytime soon. If you plan to exit your vehicle be sure to turn your engine off and put it in the park. Before exiting your vehicle make sure it is safe to do so. If you have any safety equipment like reflectors or safety cones, it is a good idea to use this equipment to ensure passing traffic is aware of the accident.
If you are able, then check on all the parties involved, including drivers, passengers, and pedestrians, to make sure no one is hurt. If anyone is injured call 911, even a minor symptom like dizziness should be checked out by a health care professional to ensure it is not something serious. Calling the police to the scene even in minor accidents can prove invaluable when dealing with your car insurance company and other drivers. Cooperate fully, but avoid admitting fault or blaming others while at the scene. Let the police objectively judge events and determine who, if anyone, is at fault in the crash. All the information gathered by the officers will be put in a report and made available to the insurance companies to ensure the proper amount of compensation will be delivered to the appropriate party.
If the police are unable to make it to the scene of the accident, it is in your best interest to document the accident while it is still fresh in your mind. Take down specific damages, causes of the accident, driver and passenger names, license plate numbers, insurance information, makes and models of all vehicles involved, the contact information of any eyewitnesses, location of the accident, and take pictures. Document any information you feel is important or necessary for filing an insurance claim or legal action.
These are not stepped by step instructions on what to do, they are merely guidelines to help drivers during an accident. Drivers involved in an accident should use their best judgment after the accident. This can be something as simple as moving to a parking lot or the shoulder of the road and exchanging insurance information if the accident is very minor. However, if the initial accident seems to be very serious the first course of action should always be to call 911. This will ensure that if there are any serious injuries help will arrive as quickly as possible.
Accidents and their aftermath are unpredictable. If you are not sure what course of action to take after an accident then contact an attorney to try and decide what you should do. The attorneys at the Berelc Law Firm are here to assist you through tough times. Please call us today at (706) 914-1915 to set up a free consultation if you have a question regarding your automobile accident.