Legal Guide

Legal Do's And Don'ts After an Auto Accident

Statistics show that approximately 6 million auto accidents happen in the US each and every year. Some are relatively minor, causing only minimal damages and injuries to those involved, while others can be far more serious, leaving cars totaled and people with life-altering injuries to deal with for the rest of their lives, and many even cause fatalities too.

Driving safely and following the rules of the road is a good way to minimize your risks of having an accident, but the truth of the matter is that many safe, sensible drivers end up in crashes and collisions through no fault of their own. When this happens, it's important to know what to do in the moments and days that follow to help you get justice and compensation for the incident.

Unfortunately, many people in this kind of situation aren't exactly sure what to do, which steps to follow, or how to behave in order to get the best results, and it's easy to make mistakes when you're in a state of panic and fear. This guide will look at some key legal do's and don'ts for people who have been involved in an auto accident caused by a reckless driver.

Do: Get Medical Attention and Follow Your Doctor's Advice

Your number one priority after any kind of auto accident should always be your health and safety, as well as the health and well-being of any passengers who were in your car at the time and might also have suffered injuries. As stated above, auto accidents can lead to serious, life-changing injuries in many cases, so it's vital to get the care you need as soon as possible after a crash.

In cases of serious accidents, you may simply have to remain in position until emergency services arrive. In milder crashes, it may be up to you to get yourself to the hospital or visit your local doctor. Either way, you should always get a medical check-up, even if you don't notice any injuries right away, and you should follow all of your doctor's recommendations to get better.

Don't: Try to Go it Alone

Many people make the mistake of thinking that everything will play out exactly as they imagine after an auto accident, but in reality, it rarely works out that way, and you might find that interactions with your insurance company are more difficult than you expected or that the other driver involved in the accident tries to put the blame on you.

These are just some examples of how auto accidents can spiral into chaos and out of your control, and that's why it's very unwise to try and handle the situation on your own. It's often the case that car accidents lead to quite complex legal situations, and so you'll need a trusted, trained, experienced lawyer on your side to help out.

Do: Document the Scene

After an accident, there are certain key steps to follow. You should make sure to get medical help, as stated above, and you should speak with the other driver involved in the accident to obtain their insurance information, as well as calling the police to report the incident. Documenting the scene of the accident is also another very important step that should not be overlooked.

Documenting the site of an auto accident basically means taking photos, recording videos, getting witness statements, and gathering as much evidence as you can to show exactly what happened and how it happened. All of this can help later on when it comes to building a legal case in your favor and getting the insurance payout or compensation you deserve.

Don't: Dawdle or Delay

It's completely understandable that you might feel stressed out and panicked in the wake of an auto accident. This is the case for many people, and it's a perfectly human reaction to such a scary, significant life event. However, it's important to try and maintain a level of focus and concentration, if you can, in order to take the correct actions quickly, rather than delaying too long.

Technically, depending on the laws in your state, you may actually have several years in which you can legally make a claim after an accident, but it's best to act promptly and get the situation resolved early on. The longer you wait, the lower your chances of success may become as evidence disappears and mistakes are made. So try to get in touch with a lawyer as soon as possible and start building your case right away.

Final Word

Auto accidents can be very stressful and scary events for anyone to deal with, but if you take the right steps and avoid silly mistakes, you can navigate these challenges all the way to the best possible outcome.

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