Experts Share 6 Critical First Steps to Take After an Accident
With 3 million people getting injured each year, 2 million of whom get permanent injuries, its a clear indication that the possibility of someone being in an incident is relatively high. And, although numerous measures have been put in place to reduce these accidents, they still happen.
Different states have varying laws and procedures on how to deal with an accident. And, although there are still some common ones, some will vary based on the state. Among the most essential laws when it comes to car accident claims include:
- Statute of limitations when filing an injury lawsuit.
- The fault versus no-fault laws
- Limits on the possible compensation amount.
All these can be quite different from state to state. And, based on where you live, you need to fully understand the accident laws that govern that place. If you live in a state like Texas, which is among the top 10 states with the highest number of crashes per year, it will be essential to know the following facts:
Accident Laws in TexasBeing a fault auto insurance state, it means that in Texas, you can file a lawsuit or an insurance claim against the driver at-fault. Any driver in Texas can, therefore, be held accountable for injuries or damages they cause during a motor accident.
After an accident, the Texas law requires every driver involved in the accident to file a crash report, form CR-2. This ought to be done within the first ten days after the accident. The car crash reports are quite relevant when you need to file any lawsuit against the other driver, or want to claim compensation.
It’s critical to note that if you want to file an insurance claim, a crash report is a must-have document. This is because it shows exactly what happened, and helps the insurance company or the court to determine who was at fault. Luckily, although each police department has its own registry of crash reports, they still use the same CRIS system. And all these reports are uploaded online.
This means that if the accident occurred in El Paso, you are able to access all of the El Paso police reports online and easily file your claim. All you need is the right information such as the date of the crash, location, and the vehicles involved, and you are ready to get your crash report.
Dealing with a Car CrashSo, how do you deal with an accident if you are caught in one? And, how do you overcome the frightening ordeal?
Well, here are the most critical first actions that you must undertake after an accident.
- Pull Over, Turn on Blinkers, and Call 911
The first thing to do if you can is to pull over and turn on your blinkers to alert other drivers of the accident. You should then check the wellbeing of your passengers and, whether any of you have visible injuries or not, make sure to call 911.
If the accident is more serious and there are injuries and other damages, make sure to call the police. In fact, in some states, it’s a requirement that you call the police after an accident. The police officer who comes to the scene will document the accident and complete an accident report. If no police officer shows up, visit the nearest police station and fill out the report yourself
- Exchanging Information
This is the second step, and which is also quite important. Ensure that you get the names, contacts addresses, insurance info, license plate numbers, driver’s license number, and any other relevant information of the other driver(s). In case there are other passengers, also collect their contacts and names.
When talking to the other drivers whether you think they are at fault or not, always try to be friendly. However, make sure that you don’t apologize or accept blame for anything. Let the insurance and the police decide which party is liable for the accident.
- Talk to Witnesses
If you can move around, make sure that you talk to witnesses and pen down whatever they saw. Also, remember to obtain their names, contacts, and addresses.
You can even inquire from the locals if there have ever been any accidents in the same area.
- Take photos
An easy way to document the scene is by taking pictures of that scene. They will help keep a record of what really happened there. A video recording will also be helpful.
Make sure to take pictures from every angle of the scene and to capture every detail. Right from the vehicles, any road signs, skid marks, road constructions, bends, and any other detail. Taking snaps of everything, including those that might seem irrelevant is quite essential.
The pictures will be useful in court in the event that you file a lawsuit, or help the insurance company to determine your compensation for the damages.
- Get Medical Help and Keep Track of any Treatment
Whether you are feeling hurt or not, ensure that you visit the hospital for a checkup. You might not note any injuries immediately, but you could be injured internally so, see a doctor.
Also, keep a record of any treatment you receive as a result of the accident. Note down all the names of every doctor or physician that treats you during that period.
If you have missed any workdays, also record them, as well as any normal activities that you’re unable to undertake due to injuries from the accident. All these are essential in determining the extent of damages and compensation.
- Get in Touch With Your Insurance Company
Never forget to contact your insurance company. You can either call your agent or contact the company immediately. Calling them from the scene of the accident can be more useful.
Since the accident might have left you in shock, worried or upset, the police officer on site can give a more accurate account of the events to your insurance company than you. So, let them explain the situation.
Key TakeawayAccidents are never easy to handle or pleasant to be in. But how you handle the whole situation can make things easy or difficult later. Follow these tips and make it much easier.
Top Road Trip Destinations in Canada
Did you know that 1.93 million Americans traveled to Canada in 2020? That number was down year-over-year due to COVID-related travel restrictions.
While some Americans visit the Great White North via plane, others prefer road trips. It can be fun to plan an itinerary, book a hotel, pack the luggage, load your family into the car, and head to the border. But if a road trip to Canada is in the plans for you and yours this summer, what Canadian destinations are worth the potentially thousands of miles of driving? Keep reading to learn about the top road trip destinations in Canada.
Grasslands National Park in Saskatchewan
Grasslands National Park is one of Canada’s 44 national parks and park reserves. Whether you’re an earlier bird or a night owl, the national park in Southern Saskatchewan provides an ideal prairie landscape. It’s the perfect place to unwind, immerse yourself in nature, and recalibrate your life.
Enjoy the great outdoors on a campsite, or take part in hiking adventures by exploring trails. The solitude and breathtaking beauty of this national park will leave you in awe. Make time for the Ecotour Scenic Drive. It’s about 20 km (around 12.5 miles) long and will take one to three hours to complete depending on your pace.
Toronto to Stratford, Ontario
If there’s one Canadian city most Americans have heard of, it’s Toronto. Toronto, the capital of Ontario, is the fourth largest city on the continent. It’s also home to the only authentic castle in North America. Casa Loma, located in midtown Toronto, is worth the visit. So, too, is the CN Tower, which is the biggest free-standing structure in the Western Hemisphere. The city also has citizens representing 200+ ethnic groups.
While there’s plenty to see and do in Toronto, why stop there? It’s a good idea to include a Toronto-to-Stratford excursion while on your road trip to Canada. You must travel 150 km (about 93 miles ) west to get to Stratford. You’ll see Victorian architecture and get to take in the live theater. Most Americans probably haven’t heard of Stratford before. But when you come for a visit, there’s a good possibility you won’t ever forget it.
North Cape Coastal Drive, Prince Edward Island
If you haven’t ever taken a road trip to Prince Edward Island, you don’t know what you’re missing. It’s Canada’s smallest province, but it sure offers a boatload of fun. Are you a foodie or do you like to indulge in the local cuisine when traveling? Check out the western peninsula. You can delight your tastebuds with the range of food available.
Make time to visit the Canadian Potato Museum in the province. After taking in the sites and attractions at the museum, enjoy a meal at the onsite PEI Potato Country Kitchen. The menu has items like the chili topped baked potato, which features a baked potato, homemade chili, and cheese. Meanwhile, the pulled pork potato features a baked potato topped with pulled pork, cheese, and sour cream on the side. That’s just a sampling, and all baked potato dishes are served with fresh-cut, homemade chips.
If you’re intersted in a U.S. to Canada road trip this year, the options above will give you some ideas. The sky’s the limit since there’s so much to see and do.
You’ll want to ensure your vehicle is in good working order to avoid breakdowns. You’ll also want to stay alert on the road since you’ll be traveling a lot of miles and spending hours behind the wheel of your car.
If you get into an accident, you must know what to do. In addition to reporting the accident, calling your insurer, and possibly even booking a rental car to complete your road trip, you’ll want to contact a personal injury lawyer if anyone is injured.
No one wants to consider accidents or injuries when on a road trip. But it’s best to hope for the best while being prepared for the worst. You’ll enjoy the journey and the destination a lot more when you’ve done everything possible to prepare for any possible issues.
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