No one actually plans to be in a car accident. And while you may have taken steps to prevent and prepare for one, being in the moment may leave you shocked and unsure about what to do next. While you try to remain calm and wrap your head around the situation, it’s easy to forget crucial steps that can aid in your recovery, physically and financially. Here are some tips on what to do if you find yourself in a serious car accident.
Safety is the Priority
Regardless of the factors of why the accident happened, as soon as one unfolds, your focus should be on the health of yourself and everyone involved. Immediately following the accident, be sure to turn on your hazard lights, pull your car over to a safe area (if you can’t, then stay in the vehicle with seatbelt on), examine the wellbeing of others, provide assistance to those who have serious injury, and never move an injured person unless their safety is at risk where they are.
It should go without saying that if you are in a car accident, then you need to call 911. Many people may think that they can just handle the situation on their own or through their insurance company. But unfortunately, by not calling the police, it means that you will not have an official report for what happened. Then, it’s just going to be your word against the other drivers. Within a police report, an officer will include all of the potential contributing factors and facts related to the accident.
Evidence and Information
Before leaving the scene of an accident, try to remain calm and gather evidence and information from the other driver. Take photographs of your car, and the damage done to other vehicles involved. Write down notes of what happened before, during, and shortly after the collision. Include specifics for the location, road conditions, weather, and traffic. Jot down the names of the police officer or witnesses who arrived at the scene to help.
Under no circumstances should you not get medical attention after being in a car accident. Even traveling at a slow speed can cause enough impact on the body to sustain injury. So there is no reason why you should not get an examination and medical treatment the same day. Some types of car accident injuries will be obvious, and others may remain hidden and not show symptoms until hours or days later. For these reasons, it is imperative that you seek medical care as soon as possible.
As a car accident lawyer from David & Philpot, P.L. has seen, victims who wait too long to get medical attention may find that their claim is reduced or denied. By delaying treatment, it can hinder your chances at compensation for your losses and affect your ability to recover.