8 Steps Seniors Must Take After a Car Crash
No one ever expects a car crash to happen, not even seniors, who tend to be more careful drivers, but unfortunately, accidents do occur on the roads and it is important for all drivers involved, regardless of age or experience level, to take the proper steps in order to protect themselves and their rights. As a senior driver, if you have been recently involved in an automobile accident you will want to make sure that you are taking the right action so that your physical health and financial stability remain intact. Here are some critical steps all seniors must take after being involved in a car crash.
1. Assess the Situation
The aftermath of an accident can be frustrating for a senior especially if they are injured. There is a lot to consider and it is important to first assess the situation in order to determine what needs to be done. This means taking the time to identify any potential injuries, evaluate the damage done to your vehicle, and ensure that everyone involved in the accident is safe.
If there are any seriously injured people, call for medical help immediately. Some states may also require you to call the police if anyone is injured or there's significant property damage. The police can also help create an official accident report.
If you are not severely injured, move your vehicle off the side of the road if you can do so safely. Keeping your vehicle on the road can cause further delays and hazards. If you can't clear the road, layout hazard signs and cones to warn other drivers. If you are not far from home, you can have a loved one come to the scene of the accident and assist you in navigating what needs to be done.
2. Exchange Information with Other Drivers
Once you've assessed the situation, it's time to exchange information with other drivers involved in the accident. This includes names, contact details, vehicle information (make and model), license plate numbers, and insurance information. Taking pictures of the damage done to your vehicle and the other vehicles involved can also be helpful.
If the other driver is not cooperative or refuses to provide you with all of the necessary information, contact the police. These details are often necessary for filing an insurance claim.
For passengers in the other vehicles, ensure they get their names and contact information. This will help you in case they decide to pursue legal action later on.
3. Get Witnesses and Take Pictures
Evidence is everything when it comes to car accidents. Substantial evidence can increase your chances of getting a fair outcome from the insurance company. You should get the contact information of any witnesses who saw the accident happen and take pictures of the crash site.
Get a detailed description of what they saw, as this will help you if any legal disputes arise later on. Look for nearby security cameras that might have captured the accident on video. If you're feeling up to it, take some measurements of the scene. This includes skid marks, distances between vehicles, and any other relevant information.
Some drivers may look to take advantage of an older driver during a car accident. Remember to stay firm and polite in any conversations that take place after the crash, but don’t agree to anything or sign any paperwork until you have consulted your insurance provider.
4. Get Medical Attention
It's essential to get medical attention for any injuries you may have sustained in the crash, even if it's just a minor ache or pain. Injuries can take days or weeks to manifest, so it's always best to be proactive and seek medical help as soon as possible.
When seeing a doctor, document all of your symptoms and take pictures of any bruises or scrapes. These details will be helpful when filing an insurance claim later on. When you go to the hospital, ask for a copy of your medical records. This information can provide more evidence if you pursue legal action against another driver. Remember to monitor your health situation over time. If you have any preexisting conditions, make sure to mention them to your healthcare provider as this may affect the outcome of your claim.
5. Call the Police and File an Accident Report
In certain states, it's necessary to call the police and file an accident report after a car crash. This is usually required for insurance claims or any potential legal action. Even if this isn't legally required in your state, filing a report can help you document the events of the accident. When talking to the police, stick to the facts and avoid giving any opinion or speculation about who was at fault. Once you're done, ask for a copy of the accident report for your records.
6. Find an Attorney
If you have any preexisting conditions, make sure to mention them to your healthcare provider as this may affect the outcome of your claim. They will also handle all the legal paperwork and negotiations on your behalf.
When searching for a lawyer, look for someone who specializes in personal injury cases related to car accidents. A good lawyer should be willing to provide you with a consultation and answer any questions. Younce, Vtipil, Baznik & Banks, P.A. is an excellent law firm to consider when looking for car accident lawyers. Before hiring, make sure to read reviews and ask around for recommendations. This will help you find the best car accident lawyer for your situation.
7. File an Insurance Claim
If you've been involved in an accident, the first step is to file a claim with your insurance company. For this step, it's crucial to have all the necessary information. This includes contact and vehicle information for all drivers involved, witness statements, and medical records (if applicable).
Gather as much evidence as possible, such as photos and videos of the accident site. This will help provide more detail to your insurance company and increase your chances of getting a fair settlement. When filing a claim, make sure to be honest, and detailed. This will help the insurance company accurately assess your situation and provide you with an appropriate settlement.
If the insurance company denies your claim or offers an amount that you feel is unfair, hiring a lawyer may be a good idea. They can help you negotiate with the insurance company for a better settlement.
8. Take Care of Yourself
Taking good care of yourself after an accident may involve seeking therapy or counseling if you're dealing with trauma from the crash. Developing stress-relieving activities such as yoga or meditation may also be beneficial. The goal should be to stay positive and focus on healing emotionally and physically.
Take time for yourself, and don't rush the recovery process. It's ok to take breaks throughout the day and give your body time to recover. And most importantly, make sure you consult with a doctor if you experience any pain or discomfort.
If you need to go back to work, make sure you're physically and mentally ready to handle your job duties. Talk to your doctor about any limitations necessary to safely return to work. It's important to remember that healing takes time. Be patient with yourself, and don't push your body too hard during recovery.
Though car crashes are frightening, it is important to stay calm and take the proper steps afterwards, especially if you are a senior. By following these eight steps, seniors can be sure they are taking the best possible care of themselves post-accident. If you or someone you know has been in a car crash, make sure to follow these instructions for the best outcome.