Knowing what to do after an auto accident in Tennessee may help drivers ensure they receive compensation for the damages they suffered.
Unfortunately, auto accidents occur daily on the streets and highways in Nashville, and throughout Tennessee. Often, these crashes result in serious injuries, or death, for drivers, vehicle occupants and others. In fact, the Tennessee Department of Safety and Homeland Security reports that more than 900 people were killed in motor vehicle accidents 2014 alone, and nearly 45,000 people were injured.
Few people think they will ever be involved in an auto collision. As a result of this belief, however, many are caught unprepared when they are in a wreck. By knowing what to do following an accident, however, drivers may help to protect themselves, and their rights.
Assess the situation
As most drivers are aware, it is important not to leave the scene of an accident. However, people who have been involved in auto collisions may choose to find a safe area to pull over and wait for emergency services or the authorities, according to a CNN report. Getting away from traffic, when possible, may help motorists avoid causing additional crashes.
After stopping their vehicles, it is advisable that drivers assess themselves and their passengers, to determine if anyone was injured. Motorists should also check to see if the occupants of the other vehicles involved are okay. If anyone needs medical assistance, people should call 911 right away. If not, they may instead call their local law enforcement agency's non-emergency line to report the collision.
Document the scene
Following an accident, it is a good idea for drivers to document the scene. This includes taking pictures of the scene, as well as the vehicles involved. Additionally, it may be helpful for people to photograph any visible injuries that they, the other drivers or any occupants in the vehicles may have suffered. Such pictures may be useful during the insurance claims process, as well as if any legal action is required.
People are generally aware that they should exchange insurance and contact information with the other drivers when they are involved in motor vehicle collisions. They should also get the contact information, including names and phone numbers, of any occupants in the vehicles that were involved or anyone who witnessed the accident.
Additionally, it is helpful for drivers to write down as much as possible after a car crash. This includes any details they can remember about what happened, the date and time of the accident, and the location where the collision occurred. If law enforcement come to the scene, people should get the names and badge numbers of the responding officers, the incident report number and, if possible, a copy of the report.
Consult with an attorney
When people in Tennessee, and elsewhere, are injured in motor vehicle accidents, they often require medical attention and care. For many, this results in unexpected medical expenses, among other damages. While other drivers may be held liable for these damages, obtaining compensation is not always a straightforward process. Therefore, those who have experienced situations such as this may benefit from working with a legal representative. An attorney may explain their options, and help ensure their rights are upheld.