A Millennial’s Guide To Dealing With Auto Accidents
There are a lot of stereotypes associated with millennials. They’re often accused of being entitled, sensitive, or even reckless, and many of these stereotypes have little to no evidence to really back them up.
In fact, there are many cases that prove the contrary, but every now and then, reports and statistics are released to back up some of these claims, and one recent report from the AAA showed that the millennial generation ranks among the worst drivers in the US.
The report showed that a lot of younger millennials, aged between 19 and 24, exhibited dangerous driving behavior on a regular basis and didn’t seem to understand the relevant risks, with close to 90% of this age group admitting to speeding, running red lights, or using their phones while driving.
All of this unfortunately means that millennials are more likely to be involved in auto accidents. Obviously, the best way to reduce your chances is to make sure you follow the rules, keep distractions to a minimum, and pay attention to the road.
However, if an accident does occur, it’s important to know what to do and how to behave to make sure the process goes smoothly. This step-by-step guide will show you the right actions to take, from documenting the scene to making sure you don’t get fooled by an insurance adjuster.
Step 1 – Stay At The Scene
One of the many mistakes that a lot of people make after having an auto accident is simply driving on because they think it’s not that serious, or only stopping briefly at the scene and then deciding to continue with their journey after exchanging information with the other driver.
Even if the accident seems minor and you don’t feel any injuries, it’s important to stay at the site of the accident until the relevant steps have been completed and you should never simply drive on without stopping and checking on the other driver.
Step 2 – Protect Yourself
Next, depending on the severity of the accident and any injuries you may have, you’ll want to take action to keep yourself and everyone else on the site safe from any further harm. Consider setting up some flares, putting your lights on, and moving away from the vehicle on the side of the road.
This is especially important if you had an accident at night or on a busy, fast-moving road where other inattentive drivers coming along might not notice you and cause additional damage.
Step 3 – Call The Police
Once you’ve stopped the vehicle and gotten safe, it’s wise to call the cops. Even for minor accidents, the presence of officers can help to prevent any further issues from developing, as some drivers may experience road rage or get violent in the wake of an accident.
Officers will be able to calm everyone down and protect you and your passengers. If you choose to make a claim later on, having a police record will also be very useful.
Step 4 – Document Everything
Before the police arrive, if you or someone else on the scene is physically able to take some pictures, they should do so. It’s very important to document everything at the site of the accident, photographing the cars, any damage that has been done, and any visible physical injuries too.
Then, when the police arrive, be sure to provide an accurate report of what happened. Don’t make any guesses or estimations. For example, even if you don’t feel in pain, there’s no need to assume that you’re not injured, so if they ask about injuries, say that you’re not sure. Often, car crash injuries can take some time to become apparent.
Step 5 – Swap Details With The Other Driver
This may have been done earlier on, or you can do it when the police arrive, but either way, it’s important to swap information with the other driver or drivers involved in the accident. You’ll need their name, address, and phone number, as well as asking to see their insurance cards too.
You may also want to take the details of any witnesses at the scene, who may be called upon later on to help your case or provide more details to the police.
Step 6 – Get Medical Help
This is the most important step of all. It’s vital to visit a hospital or doctor’s office as soon as you can and get yourself and any passengers checked over. As stated earlier on, there are many cases when injuries from auto accidents don’t seem so bad at first but can get a lot worse if left untreated.
Even if the accident seemed quite minor, getting yourself checked over is the right thing to do. It will provide you with some much-needed peace of mind and, if you make a claim later on, your chances of success could be harmed if opposing legal teams see that you didn’t seek any medical assistance in the wake of the accident.
Step 7 – Report The Incident To The Right People
As well as the police, you’ll also want to report the incident to your insurance company, so that they can begin evaluating your claim, as well as potentially getting in touch with an auto accident attorney too. A lot of legal cases ensue after auto accidents, and it can be vital to have a lawyer on your side in order to ensure that you make the right decisions later on and achieve a satisfying outcome.
Your attorney will be able to guide you on what to do, what to say, who to talk to, and what rights you have. This can be so important, as insurance adjusters and opposing legal teams may use all kinds of methods to try and trick you into admitting responsibility or catching you out in order to weaken your claim.
With safe, smart driving, your odds of being in an accident are relatively low, but there’s always a chance you could get in a crash that isn’t your fault, and it’s so important to keep these steps in mind and take the right action.