In the aftermath of a car accident, it’s hard to think clearly. Car accidents can be physically and mentally traumatic, and a car accident is an experience that is relatively rare even for the unluckiest among us. It’s easy to lose track of what’s happening and what we should be doing, even though our actions after a car accident are extremely important. In the aftermath of an accident, we need to make sure that people are safe and that any injured parties are cared for. We need to make sure that the scene is properly documented, and we need to be aware of insurance and legal issues that may soon arise in relation to the accident.
Here’s what you need to know about what happens — and what you should do — after an accident.
Car accidents can be incredibly dangerous. While we certainly see our fair share of fender-benders, there are also a lot of accidents in the United States that cause serious injury or even death. Americans spend about 1 million days in hospitals every year due to car crash injuries.
That’s why your first order of business following an accident should be checking on your own health and that of others, and prioritizing your safety at the scene of the accident.
If anyone at all is injured in an accident, your first step should be to call the accident in and request medical help. Helping people is why 911 exists, so don’t be afraid to dial those numbers if the situation merits it!
Next, evaluate the safety of the situation going forward. Whether or not you should move or leave your vehicle will depend on the situation. Use your common sense; nobody should stay in a burning car, for instance. But in other cases, it may make more sense to stay in the relative safety of the vehicle rather than trying to step out onto a busy road.
Document the scene
If you’re able to do so safely, you should be sure to document the scene of your car accident in any way you can.Snap some photos of the accident aftermath, and be sure to call the police so that everything is documented in a police report. Get your copy of that police report — you will need it for insurance and legal purposes later on!
Health and healthcare
If you need healthcare after an accident, make sure that it’s the right care from the start. If you’re able to do so, use reviews of hospitals and other tools to choose the right hospital for your needs. If you aren’t in a position to choose where an ambulance takes you, you can still transfer your care later on. Work with your insurance company and other experts to make sure that you’re receiving the best possible care. And hold onto medical bills, along with any and all other evidence of the accident and subsequent care you may receive. You could need them for legal reasons!
Getting legal help
If you were seriously harmed because of an accident that was not your fault, you should reach out to a personal injury attorney. Depending on other details, such as whether or not another party was negligent, you could have a personal injury case to make.
If you win or settle a personal injury lawsuit against a negligent party, you could recover funds that help make you whole again. Among other things, you could sue for car accident compensation to cover medical expenses and wages lost due to you missing work.
Schedule a consultation and choose your attorney carefully. The right attorney will be able to give you legal advice that is tailored to your specific situation, and they should work closely to give you personal service.
Accidents are inevitable, but it’s important to know the best steps to take following one. By doing so, you will ensure you and the parties involved are safe and taken care of accordingly.