No one wants to be involved in a collision, but it is difficult to predict if or when one might happen. Much like having a will, being prepared for a car accident beforehand could greatly benefit injured victims if one ever occurs in the future.
Anderson & Cummings talks about what you can do to prepare for a collision and the benefit it provides if a crash occurs.
Our legal team has extensive experience managing injury claims. Unfortunately, we often see things that victims could have done ahead of time, such as buying enough of the right kind of insurance.
Injured in a car accident and need legal help from a knowledgeable auto accident lawyer in Fort Worth? We can answer your questions and discuss your situation at no cost or risk to you. Call our law firm anytime, night or day, but remember, strict filing deadlines apply in Texas.
Request a completely FREE case review. (877) 920-9009
How Can You Prepare for a Car Accident That Has Never Happened?
After being involved in a crash, most victims are in shock. Even if you do not suffer an injury or initially feel pain, being in a crash will cause an adrenalin rush. The onset of that state of “fight or flight” is how your body deals with traumatic events. While in this state, it is harder to make decisions or process what to do next.
Preparing in advance for a possible car crash and having a plan in place can help you in many ways, such as:
- Making sure you have purchased the best insurance in the event of a crash
- Having a plan in your glove compartment or saved on your phone with a quick reminder of what to do
- Instant access to the top-priority phone numbers you need to call first – add them to your smartphone contact list
- Understanding what you need to do to protect your health first
- Avoiding mistakes that could hurt your chances of recovering compensation
What Should Drivers Do to Prepare for a Car Accident Beforehand?
There are a few things drivers should consider when planning ahead for a car accident. These steps apply no matter how long you have had your license.
Step 1: Review Your Auto Insurance Policy Every Six Months
There are a couple of reasons to do this. For one, it is easy to have a “set it and forget it” mindset about something as mundane as auto insurance. Fun reading or not, your auto insurance policy defines what type of help and how much help (think in terms of dollars here) you will have if injured in a crash.
It is surprising how many people miss out on compensation because they did not buy the right coverage. One key point is that buying only the minimum amount of insurance may be cheaper, but it is not likely to provide enough compensation in an actual crash. For a few dollars more, you could have greater peace of mind and better coverage.
Not sure what coverage you need? Begin by researching insurance options in your state. Be sure to check out both the required and optional coverages. If there is something you do not understand, your insurance company must explain it to you. You do not want to discover after a crash that your policy does not provide the coverage you were expecting.
Check the fine print of your policy as well. Often important details, such as what may be excluded from the coverage you purchased, are included here.
Step 2: Remain Alert to Your General Location as You Travel
Even if you are driving a familiar route, you should be aware of your approximate location. This is useful if a crash occurs because you can more quickly direct police and other first responders to the crash scene. Try to include things like the road name, state highway route and closest exit or mile marker. A familiar landmark could help narrow down your location as well. Alternatively, you could use your smartphone or GPS to send your location coordinates.
Step 3: Know What to Do at the Crash Scene
In the moments after a collision, there is usually a lot of confusion. It can take a minute to settle your mind, but it is critical that you act as quickly as possible to:
- Check yourself for injury – If physically able, check to see if others at the crash site are injured.
- Call 9-1-1 – Answer their questions as clearly as possible without rambling.
- Move your vehicle out of traffic – If your vehicle is blocking traffic and is drivable, it is a good idea to move it to a road shoulder.
- Collect/exchange insurance and contact details – Gather this information from everyone involved in the accident.
- Document the crash scene: Do not risk yourself or others to do this. However, if you can safely do so, try to record a video with your smartphone. Try to capture damage to all vehicles involved, as well as any injuries you sustained. While recording a video, you could even make audible comments, such as which vehicle you are filming, the weather (clear, rainy, bright and sunny, etc.), any notable marks in the road, such as skid marks, and so on.
- Call a tow truck: You may need to wait for the police to investigate the crash scene. However, once they have completed their report, you could contact a tow truck company you know, rather than one that is selected for you.
- Seek immediate medical attention: Going to the ER is usually your best bet. They have the equipment and staff to handle just about anything. They are also always open. Refusing treatment or delaying medical care is a really bad idea. For one, you could jeopardize your health. Even if you do not feel injured, you may have sustained a serious internal injury, such as a brain bleed or internal organ damage. The second reason for getting immediate medical care is that it will be documented in your medical records. This data is official evidence and can be used to link your injuries to the crash if you later file a claim.
- Seek immediate legal help: Research ahead of time to find a knowledgeable and experienced auto accident lawyer in your area. Make a note of that firm’s name and number and add it to your contacts on your phone. It is much easier to do this when you are well, rather than right after being injured.
- Contact your insurance company: You probably want to contact a lawyer and your insurance company pretty quickly. Your insurance company may have deadline requirements you need to meet. However, calling a lawyer first helps to make sure you avoid making any mistakes when you speak to the insurance company.
Step 4: Avoid Doing Things That Could Hurt Your Legal Claim
While still at the crash scene, there are things you should avoid doing, such as providing too many unrelated details to the police or accepting a cash offer from the other driver. Additionally, you should be aware of tactics insurance companies use to devalue or deny claims.
Injured in a Car Accident? Our Trusted Law Firm is Ready to Help
Need legal help after a car crash in Fort Worth? Anderson & Cummings has been representing injury victims for decades. We have a history of proven results and have recovered hundreds of millions for our clients.
Contact our law offices 24/7 to get answers to your questions and request your completely free case review. If you choose our firm to represent you, there are no upfront costs ever.
Anderson & Cummings. We get results for you. (877) 920-9009.