Even if you’re a safe driver there are always plenty of other people on the highway that make the road a little more treacherous. Your daily commute to and from work is no doubt filled with patches of heavy traffic, the occasional speedster and plenty of careless drivers merging without signaling.
Those are a few of the elements that make rush hour one of the most accident-prone times to drive. From being rear-ended in slow traffic to multi-car pileups, an accident on the highway is a much different situation than a fender bender on a suburbanite street. These are a few things to keep in mind if you find yourself in an accident during rush hour.
Take stock of the situation
Being in any type of auto accident is a shaking experience. The first thing you will want to do is get your wits about you. How bad was the accident? Are you hurt? How badly damaged is your car? Is your car right side up? Can it drive?
Move out of the way if possible
Once you have your bearings, pull onto the shoulder if it is possible to do so safely. This is also a good time to try to take note of the other vehicles license plate. The last thing you want is to see them speed away from the scene. If you are badly hurt or if your car is badly damaged, stay put and wait for the authorities.
Check for injuries
Once you’re safely out of traffic, take a moment to check yourself and anyone else in the vehicle for injuries. You will have a lot of adrenaline coursing through you which can make it easy not to notice cuts, bruises or even broken bones.
Call emergency services
Call 911 and have them send emergency services right away. There is no time to waste if someone is in need of an ambulance. When the police arrive cooperate with them fully. Answer their questions honestly, provide any documents they ask for and be sure to give a statement on what happened. Having a record on the books will be vital for your resulting insurance claim.
See a doctor following the accident
Once the accident has been cleared go directly to the doctor. Even if you don’t think you’ve been injured, getting a medical record on the books is also important to your eventual insurance claim. Many injuries also take time to surface after an accident. It is always better to be safe.
Contact an experienced personal injury attorney
Once you have finished with the doctor, contact an experienced car accident attorney right away. You will want to do this within 24-hours of the accident so that they may help you work with your insurance company. A personal injury attorney will do the negotiating for you, as well as everything in their power to net you the largest award possible. This means money to cover your medical bills, car repair or replacement, time spent away from work and plenty more.
On average, a person will be in a car accident every 10 years. You are already acquainted with how risky some highways can be if you are someone who commutes each day. Don’t let an accident catch you by surprise. Have a plan ready just in case.