Car crashes can be terrifying and overwhelming. Unfortunately, the vast majority of us will be involved in a car crash at some point in our lives, whether it is a minor crash or major one. Because car crashes are so prevalent, and your actions immediately after a car crash are so important, we want to provide you with a general overview of some things you should do immediately after you’ve been in a car crash. We recommend printing this out and keeping it in your glove compartment – after all, if you are in a state of shock or panic, it’s unlikely you will remember all of these things off the top of your head.
1. Stop. It’s important to not leave the scene of an accident. If you do, even if it’s a minor accident, you could compromise evidence and actually be charged with a crime for leaving the scene of the accident.
2. Protect yourself and the scene. If it’s safe to do so, set out flares or turn on your hazard lights. This will help prevent other drivers from crashing into the scene.
3. Call 911. Regardless of whether it’s a serious or minor crash, you should call the police to obtain a police report. This can be helpful when filing with insurance or if you are facing a lawsuit down the road.
4. Make a record of what happened. Be detailed in your notes and do it as soon as possible after the incident. You might be surprised at how quickly you will forget details, and it will be helpful have written notes to reference later for insurance or to recover damages from the party at fault. Include pictures of injuries or damage to your vehicle and property. You’ll want to continue documenting things as times goes on such as new and ongoing pains and injuries, lifestyle changes as a result of the wreck, medical records, and receipts for wreck-related expenses such as bandages, prescriptions, co-pays, and medical bills.
5. Exchange information with all parties. You’ll need their insurance information and contact information. Typically, you would get this through the police report but if for some reason you choose not to call the police or the police do not come to the scene, you’ll need to make sure to get this information and keep it in a safe place. Otherwise, it may be very difficult to recover from the at-fault party’s insurance down the road if you can’t locate the person who caused the wreck or identify their insurance company.
6. Seek medical assistance. If you need immediate medical assistance, call 911 and request an ambulance. If you don’t need immediate assistance, you will still want to seek medical treatment as soon as reasonably possible. This is not only important for your health, but it can also help document your injuries should you need it to prove damages down the road.
7. Call an attorney. To make sure you protect your rights, contact an attorney as soon as reasonably possible. A personal injury attorney can advise you of your rights and legal options and help you make the best decision for yourself and your loved ones.
If you’ve been injured in a car crash, call us today for a free consultation. We’ll guide you through the process, help you understand what to expect, and fight for the compensation you deserve. We’ll take that burden off of your shoulders so you can focus on healing and recovering from the crash.