What To Do When Injured In An Accident
If a car accident does happen, it is an unexpected shock that can affect a person physically, mentally, and even financially. Because car accidents can happen unexpectedly, drivers should know what to do in the event of one. Car accidents can be stressful events that raise dozens of questions.
Stop, Turn Off, and BreatheImmediately following an accident it is very important to access the situation. Take a look around you to determine where your car is. If the accident has occurred in a location that is extremely dangerous or where it is obstructing traffic, move the car only so far that it is in a safer location.
Once you're in a safe location, turn your ignition off. Never leave a car running after an accident. Leaving a car running can become a safety hazard, depending on the severity of the crash. By turning off the ignition the drivers are reducing the risk of starting a fire.
Now that you're out of harms way, take a deep breathe and stay calm. People are often overcome with adrenaline that may make them feel excessive fear, nervousness or defensiveness. You may also experience feelings of anger or frustration towards the other driver. To better handle the situation it is important to attempt to regain a measure of calm. There is still a lot that needs to be done and keeping an calm demeanor can certainly help.
Are You Okay?It's extremely important to make sure you or any of your passengers are injured. Check to see if there are any major injuries. If at all possible, do not move or attempt to treat severe injuries until medical personnel arrives.
Call The PoliceCall the police, even if the accident is minor. Let the police dispatcher know your exact location and alert them of any injured people. Once the police arrive, insist on a police report. That will ensure that all the information is taken from all parties involved and the police will make a determination on which party is at fault.
Collect As Much As You Can!Regardless of whether or not the police arrive to the scene of the accident, it is extremely important that you collect as much information regarding the accident as you can.
Make sure to take pictures of everything! Take a picture of all the damage to your vehicle, the vehicle that caused the accident, and any and all injuries that you have.
Then collect the following:
The date and time of the accident;
Exact location of the accident;
Number of cars involved;
Name, phone number, and drivers license number of all parties involved;
Name and policy number of the auto insurance company of all parties involved;
The year, make, and model of all cars involved in the accident;
If there is a police report, the name of the officer, their badge number, the police station their associated with, and the police report number;
The name and phone number of any and all witnesses.
Call Your AttorneyWhether or not you plan on hiring an attorney, it is always a great idea to consult with a personal injury attorney after a car accident. Most personal injury attorneys will conduct a free consultation of your case and provide you with all of the necessary information. The sooner you consult with an attorney the better your chances of succeeding on a case.
Although a auto accident can be handle on your own, I would highly advise against it. The insurance companies have no incentive to assist you in a situation like this. They have a duty to their company to preserve as much money as they can. They will try and low ball you and take advantage of your lack of knowledge in this field.