Whether you’re an expert driver with years of experience behind the wheel or a beginner strapping themselves in for their first ride, driving on America’s roadways is a dangerous, unpredictable undertaking that can inflict severe injury at a moment’s notice. You can (and should) adopt several defensive driving techniques to protect yourself, techniques such as leaving space between you and the car ahead of you, watching for sudden flashes of brake lights, and allowing other drivers to drive aggressively around you while you passively let them by. But while these techniques have been known to mitigate the chances of you getting into an accident, the road is famously unpredictable; Drunk drivers, corporate truck drivers not paying proper attention to the road, or even an everyday incident of road rage can leave your car in shambles, with you stranded on the side of the road. So you need to protect yourself and your assets-
With these kinds of incidents happening regularly across all 50 states, it’s crucial that every driver know what to do if they should happen to get into an accident, whether they are at fault or simply at the mercy of cruel, unfeeling fate. As a driver on any road, at home here in the States or while traveling abroad, you should hope for the best but prepare for the worst, and this guide will give you all the tools you need to deal with the worst, should it happen to you or someone you love.
Without further ado, here’s what to do if you get into an accident to Protect Yourself and Your Assets.
Pull Over to a Safe Location
If you are on a busy road when the crash occurs, pull over to the rightmost lane or the shoulder of the road if possible; Ttry to avoid becoming stuck in the middle of a highly trafficked area, such as the leftmost lane, as remaining in such a place increases the likelihood of more accidents occurring. If you are on a slower road, such as a country backroad or a one-lane road, pull off the road onto the shoulder or into the nearest open, level space.
If you notice that the person who hit you is trying to run away, you CAN attempt to take a picture of their license plate or car, and if you can do so safely, you should. But your own safety is always the priority, so make sure you can easily reach a safe location before attempting to do anything of the sort.
Document, Document, Document
When both you and the other driver are in a safe, remote location, you will first want to ask the other driver for their insurance information; this will make it easy for you to file an insurance claim if need be, as well as allow your insurance company to investigate the accident thoroughly. You will also want to take pictures of every inch of damage, both to your vehicle and the other person’s vehicle; These pictures will act as evidence in any claims made by you later, either to seek damages for your car or damages for personal injury. Afterward, you will want to contact the police, as their reports can serve as an unbiased, authoritative perspective on the accident in a court of law.
If you ARE injured severely, skip all of this and call 911. The police will handle all the required documentation, taking pictures of the accident as well as collecting witness testimony. The measures above are meant to be taken by people who have not been injured severely and are looking to establish a firm case for themselves when they go to court. If you have suffered extensive injuries, your first priority should be taking care of yourself. The police will handle the rest.
Winning Your Case
Following these simple steps will equip you with everything you need to Protect Yourself and Your Assets and to collect on your insurance policy and, if needed, take your personal injury case to court. You may not need this information for a long time, if ever, but being prepared for the worst will serve you when the worst occurs and make it more likely that (should you ever need to file a case) you will win it.