Everyone involved in a car accident is unsettled. It’s easy for those involved to get flustered, anxious, and disoriented. However, there are a few important things you should do promptly after a car accident. If you don’t, you may run the risk of being caught off-guard by a potential claim against you, being accused of being at fault or worse, even if it wasn’t your fault to begin with.
These are a few steps you should take following your car accident. Do them in this order, because some are more important than others.
First Things First
Your life and health should always be the most important. This is why the first step you should take after a car accident is to determine your medical condition. Don’t worry about your car. First determine if you are okay physically before assessing any damage to your car. Your mind may be racing and you may be disorientated, but focus on examining your body. Begin by focusing on your head and neck. Do you get any discomfort in your neck while making movements? If you’re able to move your head and neck without any pain, this is a good sign.
From there, move on to the rest of your body. Examine your legs and arms visually. Look for blood and pay attention to any painful sensations. Look for scratches, scrapes, wounds, or bleeding on your face or other areas of your body in a mirror if possible.
If you are in sound condition physically, great. You can focus your attention on the other driver, if there is another party involved, or your vehicle. Keep in mind, sometimes your adrenaline is pumping and you may not notice or feel any pain until hours later. The sudden jolt of a car accident can tremendously injury one’s body, so just be aware that injuries may not arise until hours later.
Were You Injured?
If you or another person has suffered injury, the first thing you should do is call 911. By doing so, you can save a person’s life or prevent further injury, as you may not know the extent of one’s injuries. While awaiting police and emergency vehicles, it’s best to not move your vehicle unless, of course, you need to for your safety. You will ultimately want to photograph the scene of the crash as it occurred.
If there is a neck injury. Do not move them unless it is absolutely necessary for safety. Again, you may not know the extent of the injury, so it is always best to await medical assistance, as you do not want to cause permanent injury to yourself or another person.
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These are the usual steps everyone knows to take after an accident. Obviously, after you’ve checked on everyone’s safety, you can call your insurance to let them know about the car accident. You’ll want to exchange information with the driver of the other vehicle, including your driver’s license and insurance carrier. Then, make sure to photograph the scene, ask any bystanders for their information if you need eyewitness statements, and finally, call the police to file an official report.
A car accident can be draining to you both physically and mentally, but being thorough in gathering information can help you navigate any issues later. If you suffered an injury, it’s best to contact a car accident lawyer for advice on next steps, especially if you’re going to need ongoing medical care or have to miss work. Insurance companies should cover these costs and a lawyer who specializes in this field can help you through the process.