What to Do After a Car Accident
After a car accident, it’s important to be as prepared, well-equipped, and cautious as possible. Below are some of the most crucial steps you can take if you are ever involved in a motor vehicle accident:
- Make sure everyone is okay. Check with each and every person involved in the accident and call 911 if someone is hurt or unresponsive.
- Move everyone to safety. If the damage to your car is minor, pull your car to the side of the road and out of harm’s way. This is especially important on busy roadways and interstates. Getting to a safe location will help prevent further injuries caused by a domino-effect crash involving drivers behind you who have not yet seen the aftermath of the accident.
- Turn on your hazards. Regardless of whether you move your car out of the way, turn on your hazard lights and use brightly-colored or reflective markers (such as cones, if you have them) to get people’s attention so they can prepare to stop or bypass the accident. The last thing you want to do is cause another crash.
- Call the police and fill out a report. Do not leave the scene of the accident. Filing a police report is vital, even if no one was hurt or no vehicle was seriously damaged. If you develop symptoms of an injury later on, it will be much easier to seek compensation through your insurance. Also, you might think that your car is relatively undamaged upon inspecting it on the spot, but if you discover that your car is actually seriously damaged later on, a police report makes it a lot easier to make an insurance claim.
- Snap some photos. While you’re waiting for the police to arrive on the scene, take pictures of the damage for your records, and get the insurance and personal information of the parties involved.
- Clearly state what happened. Articulate to the police clearly and calmly what happened—but don’t fly off the handle and lose your temper. This is a time to think and communicate clearly and exercise good judgment, not to blame and holler. A lot of information will need to be exchanged. Being belligerent or impatient will only make this process more difficult.
- Make an appointment with your doctor. Consider seeing or at least calling a doctor as soon as possible after the accident. Even if you feel fine, there are many car accident-related injuries where symptoms do not manifest until later on. The rush of adrenaline after a car accident curbs your pain, so you may not be aware that you are hurt. The sooner your doctor finds something, the sooner you can receive treatment, and the sooner you can begin filing for compensation. Better safe than sorry.
The legal team at Bachus & Schanker, LLC is committed to getting you the compensation you deserve. While it is certainly a stressful ordeal to be in a car accident, it can be quite another to make sure justice is served. You don’t have to do it alone. Let the team’s expertise put your mind at ease, and rest assured that you are in good hands.
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