While everyone knows the importance of driving safely, there can always be a situation where you have an accident due to your fault. Being involved in an accident is a traumatic experience. You may have to deal with physical and psychological injuries and also the knowledge that your carelessness has caused grievous injury to others. You should appreciate that you may face criminal charges and potential personal injury lawsuits. It is, therefore, important to know how to reduce your liability. Some of the most important things to do include:
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Call 911 to Deal with Injuries
You must call 911, if you, your passengers, or people in the other vehicles involved in the accident, are injured. You should wait for the paramedics to arrive and administer emergency treatment and make arrangements to take the injured to the nearest hospital. Even if it seems you have not been injured, it is still a good idea to get a medical checkup.
Make Yourself Visible
On a road with speeding traffic, likely, other drivers may not see the cars involved in the accident in time and ram into you. According to Forbes, if you can, you should move the vehicle to the side of the road to reduce the risk of secondary collisions. Activate your hazard lights and keep a safe distance from the car to avoid being injured in explosions.
Call the Police
You will get legal protection from unwarranted claims if you call the police immediately after an auto accident, regardless of whose fault it was. The police report will document all the facts, so you cannot be arm-twisted into paying more than fair compensation. If the police do not file a report, it is evidence that the accident was minor. Do not attempt to leave the accident scene before the police arrive to avoid hit and run charges.
Make it a point to exchange contact and insurance information with the drivers of all the vehicles involved in the accident. You must do this irrespective of who you think is responsible for the accident. It is important not to admit fault to anyone, including the police, and other people on the scene and your insurance company. It is enough to state the facts to the police.
Document the Accident
While the police will record the facts, you must also collect all evidence you can use to limit claims against you in case someone sues you. In addition to taking photos of the accident scene, you must photograph the damage to the vehicles and other things that may have contributed to the accident. You should collect the contact information of any witnesses since you may require their testimony to defend yourself in a personal injury lawsuit.
You should inform your insurance company so that they can take all the steps required to defend themselves appropriately in case of a lawsuit. Have your car surveyed so that you can repair it at the earliest. You should engage a personal accident attorney to defend yourself better against personal injury claims. You can even lodge a counterclaim if you think the other driver also contributed to the accident.