Prioritizing your health should cover every aspect of your daily activities. And one of the most potentially dangerous places concerning your physical health is in the car on the highway. Car accidents are one of the major causes of death in America, and they are near the top of the list regarding preventable injuries. You can do a lot to protect yourself on the road, but no matter how defensive your driving skills are, there could be moments of madness from another driver that is beyond your control. So, how do you handle yourself if you are caught in a car accident that’s not your fault?
1. Stay on the scene or close by
After a road collision, a person’s sense of judgment can be clouded. And for most people who are at fault and/or uninsured, fleeing the scene immediately is the first thing that comes to mind.
After a car crash, do not yield to the temptation of leaving the scene, whatever the case may be. If there is a danger of an explosion or any other source of harm on the scene, stay far enough to be safe but close enough to keep your eye on the accident scene.
The next thing to do is to immediately call 911 and wait for help to arrive at the scene. The police will take down all essential information regarding the collision and create the official police report. If the accident you were involved in happened in Ohio, you can search for the Ohio police accident report online. You only have to type some of the accident’s basic information, such as the date and ZIP code.
It is essential to know the extent of your insurance coverage and share your policy information with the other drivers involved. The police report will work as evidence when claiming your insurance or if you decide to take the case to court with a car accident lawyer representing you.
Ensure you always have insurance coverage, as the police report will be important when claiming your insurance. Damage to your car will also likely be photographed for you to use with the insurance company and potentially in court.
2. After a car accident that’s not your fault, provide your statement
Provide what your memory can recollect as the facts of the situation and tell them as they are to the police. Do not attempt to make up facts, withhold information, or jump to conclusions about what happened.
Altering the facts of the incident may go against you in the long run. If there is anything you do not remember or are uncertain about, make your uncertainty clear to the police. In short, make sure you avoid any guesswork or speculation.
If the other party in the collision is still available on the scene, ensure they also give their statement. And make sure that they do not alter the facts either.
3. Document the incident and tell your insurance provider
Although the police will make their documentation, you must do yours. Take pictures of everything that happens if you have a camera with you.
Note the names of the police officers and remember the information you give them. After documenting everything, the next thing to do is report to your insurance company. Depending on your insurance provider’s policies, you may be required to report immediately after the incident.
If your insurance covers any medical expenses, then you may need to go along with your medical bills. This point is essential as it will save you extra costs on medical care.
4. Seek medical help
If your insurance provider does not require immediate reporting after the incident, it is best to seek medical care first. Usually, among the first respondents on a crash scene are medical officers.
Even if you think you are okay, still seek out a doctor as soon as possible. This is important both for medical and legal reasons.
You will receive all the necessary medical examinations and first aid treatment where necessary. You will be transported to the nearest medical facility if you require extra medical attention. Make sure to compile every medical bill, receipt, and other critical document as you need them when claiming your insurance.
5. Seek legal help after a car accident that’s not your fault
Your final thing to do is to contact reputable personal injury lawyers. The fact that this is the last item listed does not make it any less important – especially if you have sustained a personal injury that is not your fault.
Your personal injury lawyer will provide all the legal assistance you need to claim damages. They may also assist you in fast-tracking the insurance claim process. Your lawyer(s) will play an important role in ensuring you receive every payment due to you in full and on time.
Another important reason to seek a personal injury lawyer is that they will help clear you of any wrongdoing. And if anyone with you, unfortunately, lost their life, your attorneys will offer you legal help on wrongful death.
Even if the collision was your fault, getting an attorney’s assistance may help reduce any punishment considerably. A good accident lawyer will help you negotiate, understand the legal process, and more.
6. Remember to stay calm
Being involved in a car collision can be a very traumatic experience, no matter how mild the incidence is. So always remember to stay calm after a car accident that’s isn’t your fault, as this will put you in better control of the situation. Do not yield to any temptation to be confrontational, as doing so could escalate the situation.
Feature image by Marcel Langthim from Pixabay.
12 thoughts on “6 things to do after a car accident that’s not your fault”
All good advice!
I have been in 3 accidents, none my fault. I have always taken pics, and reported immediately.
Oh Resa, I’m thankful you’re okay. Sorry to hear that you had three crashes. Hope you have a restful night xx
Thanks for sharing its always good to keep these things in mind. Right after the accident you might be nervous so it never hurts reading it over.
That’s true. In the moment, it’s tough sometimes. Thanks Debbby!
Yes that’s so true, I was in a car crash once but luckily I had insurance and nobody was seriously hurt.. Without insurance I would have been in a difficult situation.
It’s always wise to have insurance, and I’m glad you did, Debby. So glad you are safe.
Do not let the other person drive off. It’s important that the police come and get statements on record during the time. I had a situation once where someone admitted fault at the time, and then mysteriously changed their story a couple of weeks later when I hadn’t heard from them.
If they do drive off, so be it. It’s likely safer to just let them go than to try and hold them. But make sure you have their plate # and drivers license number if at all possible, and snap some photos of the damage. People can be such jerks, I’m sorry that happened to you!
Great point to take photos of the damage, Tia.
Thanks for sharing your experiences, Pete. Hopefully they will help someone who faces this unfortunate situation. That’s tough when they change their story like that :(
I agree—I wasn’t referring to physically restraining them. It’s just important for people to be held accountable.
Thanks for clarifying that, Pete. Have a nice evening