You’ve always considered yourself a safe driver. But, you find yourself in an accident. You’re angry, upset, scared, and in pain. You’ve never been in an accident before. What do you do? The next steps you take are critical. Read on to learn what you should do in the aftermath of an accident.
Get Out of Harm’s Way. Safety is vital. If the accident is severe, you will probably have to leave the car at the actual scene of the accident for the investigation. If the accident is minor, before leaving your vehicle, be sure that you and your car are stopped in a safe location. Stay at the scene of the accident, unless it is unsafe to do so. If it is unsafe, and you have to leave the scene, be sure to communicate to 911 dispatch who you are, where you are, and why you had to leave the scene.
Check for Injuries. Check to see if anyone in your vehicle is injured. If a person in your car has serious injuries, prevent them from moving until help arrives.
Call the Police. Even if the accident is minor, you need to have an objective report of the accident. The Police report will help the courts, lawyers, and insurance companies determine what happened. If the other drivers involved in the accident are persuading you not to call the police, consider that a danger signal, and make every effort to contact the police.
Exchange contact information with all of the parties involved in the accident. However, avoid giving out very personal information, such as social security numbers.
Document the Scene. Take photos and detailed notes. Be sure to photograph the scene and all of the cars involved. Photograph all four sides of the vehicles, including yours. Make notes about what you saw before and after the accident. Be sure to note the time of day, the weather, damage, road conditions, road signs, streetlights, and whether there were any skid marks.
Keep Your Emotions in Check. Accidents are highly emotional events. Limit your conversation with the other drivers involved in the accident to the exchange of contact information. The roadside is not the place to start an argument with the other drivers, or to assess responsibility for the accident.
Visit the Doctor. Either the day of, or in the days following the accident, if you feel any pain, visit the doctor. Accidents are deceptive. Even if the crash seemed minor, you can still experience injuries, and pain from those injuries. The goal is not only to receive medical treatment, but to also start a record of any injury that is connected to the crash.
Call Graham & Mauer, P.C. Talk to us! We are here to help you. The days following an accident are critical. These days are filled with emotion, pain, and tough decisions. A lawyer can provide you with advice on how to proceed. Personal injury lawyers are trained to be objective, and to help you navigate the jungle that is the insurance industry and the legal system.