Car crashes can be damaging, painful, and extremely disorienting. Many people go into shock after an accident, and even those less affected are likely to feel somewhat confused or unsettled. After a car accident, it is important that you remain calm and do what you must to protect yourself in the moment and in the long run. What you do after a crash could later have an impact on your financial and legal responsibility for the damages, so it is crucial that you know what you should and shouldn’t do.
Get Yourself To Safety
Immediately after an automobile accident, you should survey your surroundings to determine whether or not you are safe. In some cases, a car crash could leave your vehicle in opposing traffic, the center of an intersection, or some other precarious position. While it is always important to preserve evidence of your crash, it is more important to keep yourself safe. If you are in danger and your vehicle is operable, try to pull over to the side of the road or somewhere else out of harm’s way.
Offer Help and Medical Care
Once you are no longer in immediate danger, make sure you are unharmed. Sometimes shock and adrenaline can mask symptoms of injury, so take a good look and make sure you do not need immediate care. If you do, call for help and ask someone to call 911. Remember, you cannot help anyone if you do not first help yourself. If you are unharmed, ask the others in your vehicle if they are alright and if they need medical care.
Next, ask anyone else involved in the crash if they are hurt and if they would like you to call 911 for them. This can be difficult to do, especially of the other people involved in the accident are hostile or angry, or if you are angry with them for causing the crash. However, it is important to put these feelings aside as much as possible in order to help any injured individuals, both because it is the right thing to do, and because it is your legal duty to provide care when possible.
Report the Accident
If you’ve called 911 because of an injury, the police should also arrive. Once police officers arrive on the scene, you can report the accident in an official capacity. If you did not call 911 for injuries, you may still want to call the police in order to file a car accident report. While it isn’t strictly necessary, having a police report can make it significantly easier to file a claim with your insurance company. Also, having an officer survey the circumstances and damage of the crash can be helpful in determining fault.
Collect Information & Evidence
One of the most important things to do after a crash is to exchange information with the other people involved in the accident. This should include full names, emails, phone numbers, addresses, driver’s license number, vehicle license plate number, and the names of the insurance providers. If there were any witnesses who saw the crash, you should also gather their contact information and a brief statement.
Also, take photos of the scene, including any injuries, vehicle damage, street or building damage, or hazards. Hazards might include icy roads, broken stoplights, lack of stop sign, or any other potential cause of the crash.
If you were in an accident, it’s important that you act fast. Our car accident attorneys can review your case, help you file an insurance claim, and work to obtain your fair compensation for damages.
Contact the Law Offices of Vic Feazell, P.C. today to get started.