Steps to Take After a Car Accident
Imagine you’ve been in a car accident. Normally, you’re shaken up and your adrenaline is pumping, which makes it difficult to focus on the things to be accomplished in the aftermath. Here’s a quick checklist of things to do in the event of a car accident.
First, look around to see what kind of traffic you’re in. While it is always great to capture photos of the vehicles where they came to rest, it is not worth risking your life to do so. For instance, if you’re in a car accident on the highway, if possible, move your vehicle into the breakdown lane and be sure it is in a safe area before you get out.
Second, if you are not seriously injured check on others involved in the accident. Try to verify if anyone is seriously injured and call the police to the scene. Never allow anyone to talk you out of calling the police to the scene. The police will interview everyone involved, will interview bystanders and/or witnesses, and will create a police report that can be utilized at a later time.
Third, if capable of doing so, document the scene and gather information. Get the license and registration information of the other vehicle. It may be easier to use your cell phone to snap photos of these documents. Additionally, take photographs of your vehicle’s damage, the other driver’s vehicle, and of the road and/or intersection where the accident occurred. If there are relevant road signs, or traffic signals, be sure to photograph them as well.
Fourth, if you need medical attention immediately, let the first responders know about your injuries. If you are not seriously injured on the scene, contact your insurance company to report the accident as soon as you get home.
Fifth, don’t ignore your injuries. Quite often people suffer injuries in low-impact accidents that do not manifest until days after the accident. You may find that your back or neck stiffen in the days following a vehicular collision. You may find that what you thought was just a bump or bruise may be something more serious. If you continue to experience pain after your accident, follow up at your local emergency room or with your primary care physician.
Finally, if you’ve been injured in an auto accident contact a lawyer who specializes in personal injury matters. Don’t attempt to handle your accident case alone.