Car accidents are one of the most common types of road incidents to occur around the country. Every year, thousands of people get injured or die from these events, and when they do happen, they can be difficult to navigate without the right knowledge and support. So, if you ever find yourself a victim of a vehicle collision, here are six essential steps to take in the aftermath.
Do an Injury Assessment
There is a good chance that while the accident is happening, your brain will not keep up. This is a protective response from the brain and is entirely normal. When the dust settles and things are standing still, you might start to feel the impact. This is when you need to assess your injuries and damage to figure out if you can move and whether you need medical attention.
Attend to yourself first because if you are seriously injured, it is vital to take a pause and look after your body. Then you can focus on any passengers that might be on board. Children and the elderly are a priority in this situation and if you are able to help them, this is your first job. If the passengers are stuck or seriously hurt, then make a judgment call on whether it is safe for them to remain in the vehicle until the ambulance support arrives at the scene.
Move Away to a Safer Spot
After you have this information, you can make move your car to a safer spot. There is a high risk to your body and vehicle if you stay put so try to move away from active traffic if it is safe to do so. There is no real way to tell what harm has been caused to the vehicle until it has had a professional assessment, so don’t try to fix anything. Prioritize getting to safety for you and all of your passengers too, then you can have a clearer head to deal with the next stage.
Phone 911 for Assistance
Here is when you call 911. 911 is there to connect you with the nearest emergency services. You should ask for police and an ambulance to attend the collision scene. These two units are professionally trained for this exact scenario and will be able to direct you and anyone else involved as to what needs to happen.
What the Police Will Do
The police attend to take details of the accident from you and anyone that was involved. They will also make further investigations into the scene to find out what could have happened and why it took place. There is a chance you will be breathalyzed, which is a device used to detect alcohol in the blood as drunk driving is a crime and often needs to be ruled out.
What the Ambulance Team Will Do
The ambulance crew will naturally assist with any injuries and make a call on whether or not further intervention in a hospital setting is needed. It is normal for your body and mind to be in shock as this event can be traumatic. Make sure the medics team is directed to the person most in need of assistance first so they can receive support and minimize the damage.
Now you have had intervention from emergency services, you can exchange information if appropriate. Try not to leave the scene without acquiring the details of the opposing vehicle because this will be essential information for your insurance claim and any other future events that come from this accident. You will need to:
- Take their name, and plate details and ask for the insurance company they deal with.
- Take pictures of the crash if you’re in a position to. Photograph your vehicle and the others involved too.
- Take pictures of your injuries.
- Make an account of what you think happened from your perspective.
- Ask the other people involved to do exactly the same thing and give them your insurance details and everything else that is needed as well.
- Get the contact information for any witness. Your lawyer will want this to prove that you were not at fault for the crash.
Talk to Your Insurance
As soon as possible after the accident, you should call your insurance company to report your claim. Remember that you are only required to report your claim. You do not have to undergo any recorded statements regarding how the crash occurred or the nature and extent of your injuries. You should try to avoid giving a recorded statement to any insurance company. Making your claim should be straightforward, but it may take a while to process when it comes to the administrative side of things. That is why it is important to take action as soon as you feel able to in order to avoid further delays. If your vehicle is completely ruined, and you pay for a replacement vehicle as a part of your policy, this can be arranged too so you are not without transport for a delayed period.
Seek Legal Representation
There is a lot more to legal representation post accident than just making a financial claim. A good law firm will help in finding great medical support for any injuries you might have suffered. This will help your recovery process and make you feel cared for in a bigger circle. They can also support you with your medical bills and sorting through all the associated administration that comes along with that. Aside from this, an experienced lawyer will be able to secure the optimum compensation model and ensure that if you are unable to work because of the accident, you get what you need to thrive. This might involve pursuing the opposing party responsible for the accident or clearing your name if an accusation is brought against you.
Car accidents are scary regardless of the circumstances. It is good to know what to do if you are involved in one, and how to navigate life afterward. If you suffer injuries that impede your ability to socialize and work, you may be able to find financial support to help you move in a more positive direction. When the accident is not your fault, and your vehicle is totaled, it can be a frustrating situation for all involved.
Let our award-winning attorneys at Karns & Karns Personal Injury & Accident Attorneys help you. Call us at 877-557-4221 today!