It’s hard to think quickly and clearly after being involved in a car crash. You experience a few minutes of shock where there’s not much for you to do but grasp what’s going on. But afterward, you need to start taking some steps. (Image Credits: Neto Figueiredo/Pixabay)
Whether the accident is your fault or someone else’s, you will need to do everything lawfully. Meanwhile, ensure that your rights are being protected and everything is in order.
Here are the first 3 things you should do as soon as a car crash happens.
Check for Injuries
The first thing you need to do after the moments of shock pass is to check yourself for any injuries. Ask yourself: Am I feeling any pain?
Even if you’re not feeling any pain, examine your body closely. Sometimes it takes us a while to realize we are indeed in pain. If you find a serious injury and a lot of blood, stay where you are and don’t move until help arrives.
You don’t have to worry much about money if you’re seriously injured. If the injury will cost you expensive medical bills and prevent you from going to work, you can hire an injury lawyer and file a claim. Then, the lawyer will do his job and get you compensated if your claim is proven to be valid.
If your injuries are just a few bruises here and there, try to check on everybody else involved in the car crash. Start with the passengers in your car and then, leave the car and check on people in other cars.
Not only is it humane to see if anyone needs help, but it’s also a good way for you to assess how big the accident is.
Regardless of the accident being big or small, someone needs to call 911. If there are any injuries, ambulances and EMTs will come to the rescue.
The police need to make an accident report about everything that has happened. In some states, it is even obligatory for them to make the report.
You will find in this helpful guide that it’s illegal in Texas, for one, to fail to make a report on the accident that resulted in death or injury. Search for guides that are specifically about your local area or state, to know the laws and procedures when it comes to car accidents.
While you wait for help to arrive, check if there’s anything you can do to help. Move your car to a safe area and use triangle flares if it’s at night to warn upcoming drivers that there’s an accident on the road.
Then, check to see if there are injuries, yours or others’, that you can tend to. Only offer help if you’re capable of doing so. A reminder to get checked by the EMTs or doctors in the ER, even if you don’t see any external injuries.
You might begin to see serious symptoms only days after the accident.
Give a Full Police Report
When the police arrive, you need to be fully cooperative. Tell them everything that happened and everything you saw. Be honest about your role in the accident. They’re going to question all witnesses anyway.
After giving your full report, take the contact information of the police officer who made the report. Chances are, you will remember important details after you’ve calmed down, and will need to speak to the officer again.
The police arriving at the scene is crucial. They will collect basic information and make sure the area is safe for traffic. They are the ones who will call emergency services.
Their report should be inclusive of everything related to the accident. If you cooperate, it will help you later in your lawsuit. That’s because your personal injury lawyer will attain the police report as part of their investigation.
They will also get the medical records, so make sure there’s one when you’re at the hospital, if possible. That will ensure that the lawyer’s work is easier.
Accidents happen every single day and they have different impacts. It might be an accident that you forget about after a month or one that leaves you dealing with the aftermath for a long time.
All you have to do is follow the law and try to minimize the loss. At the scene of the accident, help as much as you can. Start by helping yourself, people around you, and finally, help emergency workers do their jobs.
Remember to make a claim if the accident made you lose your job, money, or time. Hire a lawyer who can negotiate on your behalf and ensure you get what’s rightfully yours.