What Should I Do After a Car Accident in Washington State?

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Certain things we cannot control or change in our lives, and the sooner we accept this, the sooner we can focus on the things required of us in those types of situations. Take driving as an example, and even the most experienced and careful drivers can be in a car accident because regardless of how careful they are, there are other drivers too, and you can never know what they will do next. So, instead of being frightened every time you are on the open road, it’s much better to prepare yourself and know what to do after a car accident.

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Make sure everyone is okay

The first important thing in this type of situation is to check if anyone seeks immediate medical help, as sometimes, even seconds matter. Yes, it is important to determine whose fault the accident is to know what to do next, and avoid many consequences one can face if it is their fault, but that’s far from being the most important thing. It is much more important to check all the passengers and in every vehicle involved in a crash, make sure everyone is okay, and immediately call the ambulance if necessary.

Human life is the most valuable thing, and before blaming someone, we need to take care that no one is seriously injured and react if they are. In this type of situation, making rational decisions is never easy, as everyone is under shock and the adrenaline is on a record high, but that’s an even bigger reason to be calm and check if everyone is okay.

Also, keep in mind that sometimes the injuries can be pretty severe even though we cannot see them, and internal bleeding is tough to spot if you are not a trained medical professional. So, regardless of how everyone feels, it’s always highly recommended to call the ambulance and let professionals take care and check if everyone is really okay or whether someone requires a more thorough analysis and needs to be hospitalized.

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Do not avoid calling the police

Some people don’t want to have anything with the authorities due to various reasons. Now, regardless of the reason, in case of a car accident, it’s always good to have a trained professional determine whose fault it is and all other things that might come along. It might seem much easier to try and solve the problem without calling the police, but doing so is never a good idea as, in most cases, at least one party involved will not be satisfied.

If the accident is not your fault, the other participant might offer a certain amount of money to fix the car and not call the police, and no matter how good it sounds, never accept it. It’s because no one can know how much it can cost until the professional estimates it, and no one can guarantee that they will keep their word and actually give you money. If you do not report the accident, you won’t get help from the authorities, and it is almost certain you will need to pay for the repair. Because of that, calling the police is a must as the officer will write an official report that can be used for trying to prove that it is not your fault and help you get money from the insurance for repair costs.

Above all, in order to get compensated by the insurance company, you will need all the information and the report from the officials. Remember, most insurance policies cover expenses for the damage caused in an accident, regardless of whose fault it is. Of course, if someone was driving under the influence or has somehow endangered others because of their negligence or high and inappropriate speed, the coverage doesn’t apply.

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Take pictures and collect information

If everyone is okay and we have called the police, it is time to collect the information we can use to prove we are not the one who has caused the accident. Thanks to modern technology, almost all of us have mobile phones with a camera good enough to take pictures of the scene and damage that can be used as valid proof, so we should take that advantage. We also need to talk to another driver and ask them for their name, accurate address, and also driver’s license, and insurance policy number. Passengers and witnesses from the scene can also help a lot, so it is necessary to ask them to write the statements and give us contact information to call them if necessary to confirm our story. There is no reason to be shy, as the more info you gather, the easier it will be to determine everything that happened, and it will also speed up the compensation process. Of course, this doesn’t mean how one should overreact or threaten the witnesses if someone doesn’t want to give you a statement or their name and address, as once again, the most crucial thing is to remain calm.

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Do not move the car

The scene of the accident should be untouched until the police officer arrives, so they can check all the facts and make their report, so try not to move the vehicle, even if it is in driving condition. The only situation when it is necessary to move it is when it is in a dangerous position that represents a risk for other drivers and can potentially cause another accident. If you need to move it, make sure to take pictures from different angles before it and proceed them to authorities once they come to the scene.

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Consult professionals

Okay, this might not be the first thing to do in case of an accident, but after doing everything mentioned above, calling your lawyer and asking for their guidance can be of vast importance.  Of course, we are not talking here about health, as it’s more of a money aspect that’s covered by this action. Namely, professionals with vast experience in this field can give you a detailed guide on what to do and what type of info to seek, and also provide any other type of legal help, especially in case of any injury. So, hiring a personal injury lawyer should be something on your to-do list, and more info on that you can find at 4injured.com.