Have you been involved in a car accident? Are you injured? Frightened? Confused? It’s normal to feel like this. You’ve just suffered damage to your property or maybe even injured yourself. Now, what do you do? Whether you caused the accident or were in one, the aftermath of a car crash can cause some serious distress. Here are steps you can take after the accident to make sure you’re safe and protected.
Stay at the scene
After a car accident, it’s important to stay at the scene until the police arrive. Don’t leave until you’ve taken pictures of the damage and exchanged information with other drivers. You could be charged with hit-and-run if you leave before the police arrive, even if there are no injuries involved in your accident.
It’s important to check yourself and others involved in the crash for injuries. Look at the person you hit or were hit by, paying attention to any bleeding wounds or bruises on their body.
If you don’t see any visible injuries on another driver after an accident, ask them if they feel pain anywhere on their body. Especially around joints like elbows or knees–and whether there’s any numbness in those areas where there shouldn’t be any sensation at all. Balance issues may indicate spinal cord damage. Dizziness could mean head trauma and loss of consciousness indicates brain injury.
If you or someone else is injured, get medical help as soon as possible. If you are not injured, make sure the other driver gets medical attention if they need it.
Call 911 immediately and do not move your vehicle until the police arrive and tell you it’s okay to do so. If possible, use a phone from another car or from someone else’s cell phone to call 911. It may be easier for dispatchers to track down the location of your call if there is more than one number showing up on their system when they look up yours. If there isn’t another car or person nearby who can help with this step, go into the nearest house or business and ask them if they have any way of contacting emergency services.
Take pictures of the scene
Take pictures of the scene and damage to both vehicles, including the license plates. Take pictures as soon as possible after an accident, preferably with a camera or phone that has a date stamp on it. If you don’t have one of these, consider asking someone else who does to take your picture for you (with their phone). Take pictures from all angles–front and back, left side and right side–so there’s no ambiguity about what happened at the scene.
Collect any witness information
Collect witness information and get names and contact information from any witnesses who can provide details about what happened. Ask them for a description of the accident, including how fast both cars were going at the time of impact. And other details such as where exactly they were positioned on the road when it happened, and whether or not they saw another vehicle involved in any way.
Contact a car accident claims lawyers
After a car accident, you may be tempted to contact your insurance company first. However, you must speak with an attorney before doing so. Your attorney can help determine whether or not the other driver was at fault and help guide you through what steps to take next.
A good way to find an attorney is by asking friends or family members for recommendations. Try searching online for reputable car accident claims lawyers in your area that specialize in personal injury cases involving automobile collisions. Once you’ve found one or two potential candidates, make sure they have experience handling similar situations as yours–the best way for them to do this is by asking questions like:
- How many years has this firm been practicing law?
- What percentage of their clients receive compensation from insurance companies?
Accidents are traumatic experiences
The emotional stress of a car accident can be overwhelming. If you suffered injuries in an accident, it’s important to get help from a professional who can guide you through your recovery process. Talking with friends and family members who understand what it’s like to go through this type of trauma.
Going online for information about how others have coped with similar experiences. Seeking out resources such as books written by other survivors that provide tips on how they overcame their struggles following their accidents.
Seeking out professional guidance from counselors who specialize in treating victims of traumatic events. Attending support groups where people come together under one roof so everyone feels safe sharing their stories without judgment
The aftermath of a car accident can be traumatic, but it’s important to remember that you are not alone. There are many resources available to help you cope with this difficult time and make sure that your rights are protected by the law. Get medical help for physical injuries and clinical help for any mental stress or trauma. Contact a good accident lawyer to help settle claims and get justice.