No one likes being in an accident, but they do happen quite often. There are a few things you should do to protect yourself legally in case one happens to you. What should you do to protect yourself? Here are just a few ways you can help yourself in the event you end up in court due to a car accident.
Immediately after an accident happens, you must think of your safety and that of those with you. It is not a good idea to move your cars off the road so the police can properly investigate the accident. It is a good idea for you to get off the road, however, and stand at the curb in case another car misjudges the distance from the accident and their speed and potentially hits your vehicle.
As soon as everyone is out of the cars and onto the side of the road (if possible), then you need to check for injuries. If there are injuries needing medical attention, then call 911 right away. You should start with those in your own car and then check the people in the other vehicle in case there are injuries there. Don't place blame during this time, and just make sure everyone is OK before anything else.
To protect yourself against a lawsuit in court, you need to document everything. This means taking pictures of the positions of the cars, the damage caused, any skid marks and the passengers involved. You should also take a picture of the environment; for example, was there snow or ice on the road? Was it raining hard? You can also take a picture of the lighting and time of day. When you are exchanging insurance information, take pictures of the insurance cards and driver's licenses to ensure accuracy. You might also want to take video of the scene.
Contact Your Insurance Company
It is important to notify your insurance company as soon as possible after an accident. This is to start the process of potentially recovering financial damages in the event you can't work or if your car is damaged beyond repair.
Ask a Lawyer
Your insurance company might want to pay you less than what you deserve, so it is a good idea to contact a lawyer about what your best possible outcome could be. A lawyer can help you determine who is at fault and go over the details of the case with you. It is better to ask a professional instead of accepting a quick settlement which could jeopardize any chance you have at making any future claims surrounding the accident should you need to.