Every year in America, there are more than six million car accidents. These can result in personal injuries, property damage, and criminal convictions. Knowing what to do after a car accident is essential if you want to avoid being held responsible for it. This is especially true if you have been involved in a fatal auto accident, and these are more common than you might think. Each year, 38,000 people die in American auto accidents.
If you have been involved in a fatal car accident, this is understandably very shocking and can be difficult to process. So what should you do next?
Read on to find out everything you need to do if you have been involved in a fatal car accident.
Do Not Leave the Scene of the Crash
Whether you have been involved in a car or motorcycle accident, you should never leave the scene of the crash unless you absolutely have to.
For example, you can leave if you have injuries that require immediate medical attention. A paramedic on the scene may make this call on your behalf.
In that case, you should alert the authorities to where you are going. One of them may accompany you to the hospital.
In any other circumstances, you must stay at the scene of a motor accident. This demonstrates that you are willing to comply with an investigation into it, which leads us to our next point.
Present Yourself to the Authorities at the Scene
Someone needs to phone 911 to bring the police and other emergency services down to the site of the car accident. This ensures the safety of everyone involved in the accident and any other road users.
You can phone the emergency services yourself, or another driver or passerby may take charge of it. Whether or not you make the call, you should make yourself known to the authorities when they arrive. They will ask for your name, driver’s license, and contact details.
However, while it is important to comply, do not discuss the crash in any detail with them. If they are going to ask you about this, they should do this later with a lawyer present.
It is also a good idea to make a note of who you speak to at the scene and which police department they are from. This can help if you want to track down a police report at a later date.
Do Not Admit Fault for a Fatal Auto Accident
Whether you are talking to the police, another driver, or passersby, it is important that you do not admit fault or guilt in an accident.
This might sound obvious — it’s unlikely that you’ll stand at the scene of an accident and admit “this was my fault.” However, even something as simple as apologizing to another driver can be used as an admission of fault. This could land you in very hot water if someone tries to sue you for the accident.
While you may want to exchange insurance or contact details with other drivers, try to keep this communication to a minimum. This will reduce the risk of you saying something that might implicate you.
Seek Medical Attention as Soon as Possible
Just because you have survived a car crash doesn’t mean that you will always walk away unscathed. So it is very important that you seek medical attention as soon as possible.
Some serious injuries, like head injuries, may take a while to show up. Without proper treatment, these can escalate and become life-threatening.
As we’ve already mentioned, if paramedics assess you at the scene and think you need to go to the hospital, the police must approve this. Otherwise, you should go to the nearest emergency room once the authorities are ready for you to go.
A thorough medical exam is necessary if you are going to make an insurance claim for any of your medical bills or treatments. If someone else is liable for your accident, you can also use this in a personal injury lawsuit.
Speak to an Experienced Auto Accident Lawyer
If you have been involved in a fatal car accident, it is a good idea to seek legal advice as soon as possible. An experienced lawyer will review the details of your case.
From this, they will be able to mount a defense if there is a lawsuit against you. Or they may advise you to bring a lawsuit against another liable party instead. This could gain you some serious financial compensation for your accident.
To put together a case, you will need plenty of evidence. This might include:
- Photograph or video footage of your accident
- Eye witness accounts
- Accounts from other drivers
- Medical reports
- Police reports
- Highway maintenance records
- Vehicle maintenance records
An experienced lawyer will know exactly how to get their hands on this and will have the resources to chase up other leads. They will also represent your interests in court if your case goes this far.
This all means that you can focus on recovering from your accident with the peace of mind that you’re in safe hands.
Get Help Today
If you have been involved in a fatal auto accident, what you do next matters a lot. This makes a big difference if a personal injury or wrongful death lawsuit comes your way.
Have you recently been involved in an accident on the road? Then get in touch with a member of our experienced legal team today. We’re here to help.
CONTACT A TAMPA AUTO ACCIDENT ATTORNEY
In short, after a car accident, you may not know your rights. Above all, don’t struggle through the process alone. Actually, our personal injury team is here to help you with any legal needs you might have regarding your accident.
Lastly, let RHINO Lawyers answer your questions and review the facts of your case with a Free Consultation. So, get started by completing the “Free Instant Case Evaluation” or by calling us any time, day or night, at 844.RHINO.77.