Every year, there are over six million car accidents in the United States. That figure will quadruple (or more) if we count the number of car accidents globally. Suffice it to say that road accidents are almost an everyday occurrence that we barely think about them when we hear about them on the news. That is until it happens to us. When we find ourselves in the middle of a terrible road accident, what should we do? What steps should we take to protect our rights?
No matter what happens, stop. Even your dependable brain injury attorney in Los Angeles will tell you that. You think that you’ve hit a deer or a dog? Stop. You think you’ve been hit by something? Stop. There are plenty of legal cases that can be filed against you if you walk away from the scene of the accident. Even minor accidents should be dealt with by the police properly.
Call the Police
Call the authorities. You should have their numbers on speed dial. Call them and let them know where you are. If you have to stop a little further from the scene of the accident (for safety reasons), then tell the police where they can find your car. If you cannot stop because you aren’t sure what has happened and you’re afraid to step out of the car to check, drive to the nearest police station and ask to be accompanied to the scene.
Talk to Your Lawyer
Talk to your legal counsel. Immediately seek someone who can help you with your predicament. A lawyer will tell you exactly how to act and what to do during a major incident. If you hit someone, never talk to the police until your lawyer arrives. Ask your lawyer what your rights are. For example, you can refuse to answer the police’s questions without your lawyer present.
You should also protect the scene and make sure that it is not being tampered with. Since you’re probably alone in the crime scene, gather your wits about you and make sure that you can see everything that’s happening. You should remember every single thing that happens, so get your phone or a pen and paper and write down everything you remember.
If you can, take photos of the scene. You can use these photos in court later if you have to face the victim and the police. If you have documentary evidence to present, that might help the judge decide what to do with your case. Sometimes, it’s all about the angle of the photo. So you need to take your own photos to protect yourself and your rights.
Go to the Hospital
Seek medical help. You cannot think straight if you have a big bump on your forehead. Rest and try to relax. The next day, you can begin putting the pieces of your memories together. But for the time being, the best thing to do is to take care of yourself, write down everything that happened, and talk to your lawyer. Once you’re fine, you can begin the process of legally facing the consequences of what happened.
The important thing to remember in the aftermath of a vehicular accident is never to panic. Panicking will make you do things you wouldn’t normally do. That will cause more problems. Calm down before talking to anyone, even to your lawyer.