When you’re involved in a bad collision, it is vital that you follow a few important steps. Failure to follow these steps after a collision may certainly cause negative impacts during a very difficult time. Of course, learning this information after an accident is not possible. Arm yourself with the knowledge of the right steps to take after a bad collision ahead of a mishap and expect an aftermath that makes piecing your life back together a little bit easier. Recovering and living a normal life after a collision can certainly be easier said than done, especially for people who sustain serious injuries.
Seek Medical Help
Tending to injuries is the most important step to take after a collision. Seconds matter when someone is injured. Immediately call 9-1-1 to get an ambulance en route to the accident location where paramedics can treat the injured or transport them to the nearest hospital emergency room. Although it is a crime to leave the scene of an accident, the exception to the rule exists when a person sustains serious or life-threatening injuries.
Otherwise, remain at the scene of the accident until law enforcement arrives and provides the green light to leave. Law enforcement officials ensure that everyone in need of medical attention receives medical attention and care as necessary. As noted, it is a crime to leave the scene of an accident in many states unless transported to a hospital by an ambulance. Do not risk an arrest and time in jail because you left the scene of an accident.
Get to Safety
If your vehicle is broken down in traffic, move to the side of the road, out of harm’s way, if it is drivable. Other vehicles are at-risk when vehicles block the roadway. You’re also in the line of danger after an accident. If the car cannot be driven out of the road, at least move yourself and passengers to the sidewalk. Being in the middle of traffic is dangerous. The last thing you want is more collisions or accidents!
Call the Police
Many times a 9-1-1 call will also send out a police officer to the accident scene. However, it is safe to place a call to the police department just to be safe. When the officer arrives, he’ll generate a police report that the insurance company needs to begin the claims process. The police report is also beneficial in the event you file a lawsuit.
Exchange Information With the Other Driver
Although the police officer who responds to the accident will gather information from the other driver for the police report, it can take time to receive the report. It’s best to exchange information with the other driver yourself. Name and insurance company/policy number is the minimum piece of information you should exchange with the other driver. This speeds up the claims process for everyone involved in the collision.
Document the Scene
Take photos of the accident. Snap the photos with your smartphone; nothing professional is necessary. You should also talk to anyone at the scene to learn if they witness the accident. Witness statements also benefit an injured victim after a collision, whether they’re dealing with the insurance company or file a lawsuit in the matter. Make an effort to gather this documentation and information after a collision.
Contact an Attorney
An attorney understands the legal side of a car accident that most people never see. Don’t jump to sign a settlement agreement with the insurance company. So often insurance companies protect their bank accounts and do not offer a fair settlement to injured victims. With the help of an experienced car accident attorney, justice is on your side. They’ll help determine if you should file a lawsuit and take all steps possible to ensure you get justice in the case. Lawyers retrieve more money for their clients and ensure they fully recover after this mishap.