What You Should Do Immediately After
Being Injured in a Car Accident
Did you know that there are more than 6 million car accidents that occur each year? In fact, of those 6 million crashes, half of the people involved (3 million) are injured in the process.
Car accidents are one of the scariest and most traumatic moments in life. They happen in a split second, resulting in serious injuries or fatalities. If you've been injured in a car accident, then you need to know what to do when it occurs.
See below for an in-depth guide on what to do if you've been injured in a car accident of any kind. Be sure to follow these steps to a "T".
1. Assess the Situation
Let's assume that the crash just happened. The hope is that this can be a preventative guide for you to store in your memory, just in case of a future emergency.
Any time that you've been involved in an accident, step 1 is to try to get your bearings and assess the situation you're in.
Your immediate concern is on you and anyone else that might've been in the car with you. Inspect yourself, then check on any passengers that you may or may not have. Here are a few simple questions you can ask yourself:
- Am I injured?
- What visible injuries do I have?
- Can I move my arms and legs?
- Can my door open and close? If not, you'll have to escape through the window.
- Are any of my passengers injured? Can they move?
Remember that, regardless of the severity of the crash, you might be dealing with a bit of shock. Take a few deep breaths as you assess the situation.
Once you've gathered yourself, you have to get yourself and your passengers out of the car. You need to get out in order to assess the overall situation.
2. Move to a Safe Position
After you and your passengers (if applicable) are out of your car, be sure to check on the other party/parties involved. Help them get out of their vehicles if need be.
Once everyone is out of their vehicles, be sure to get everyone out of the road and into a safer area (such as the side of the road).
Next, pick up your phone and call 911. Inform the operator of your situation and whether emergency medical attention is required. Even if it's not, they will most likely send an ambulance along with a police officer.
While you wait for the police to arrive, try to avoid as little conversation with the other party as possible. You don't want to say anything that they can use against you later.
Simply check up on their injuries and start exchanging your information. Wait until the police arrive and file a police report to say your side of the story.
3. Gather Evidence Right Away
Gathering evidence can be done while waiting for local authorities to arrive, as well as after you've given them your description of what happened. Once you drive away from the scene, a bulk of your evidence goes out the window.
Be sure to get evidence however you can. Take photos of things such as:
- The parties involved
- Your car
- Their car
- Their license plates
- Your injuries
- The time of day (EX: a picture of a watch with the crash in the background)
- The policeman/policewoman at the scene
- The scene itself
- Any witnesses that stayed behind
You will also want to gather a contact list of any and all witnesses that shared their stories with the police. Be sure to grab their:
- Email address
- A brief description of what they saw
While you're there, you'll also want to gather the information you need from the other drivers involved in the crash. Jot down their:
- Home Address
- Insurance Provider
- Driver's License Number
- License Plate
- Car Year, Make, and Model
4. Jot Down Personal Notes
It's true that a car crash is an experience you'll never forget. However, you're almost guaranteed to forget the details without a way to spark your memory.
For that reason, you'll want to write down what happened from your side of the story. Don't depend on the police report to include everything you told them.
After the dust has settled and you're cleared to drive away, be sure to pull out your smartphone and jot down what happened. What did you see? What did they do that led to the crash? Be as detailed and specific as possible.
This will help you in the next stage when you replay the entire story for your car accident attorney.
5. Hire a Trusted Attorney
If you've been injured in a car accident, your number one priority should be to seek medical attention. Make sure that injury is tended to and that you start down the path to recovery.
After that, reach out to a trusted attorney. For a car accident-related injury, you'll want to find a personal injury attorney. They'll help you build your case and compile more evidence using their extensive network.
Hiring an attorney is an important step towards receiving the compensation you need for your injury. Often times, you'll find that the other party's insurance provider is hesitant (or unwilling) to payout until a lawyer gets involved.
Seek Compensation if You've Been Injured in a Car Accident
Now that you have seen the proper steps to take when you've been involved and injured in a car accident, be sure to use them to your advantage.
The most important thing to remember after your injury is to look out for your health and financial situation. If either has been damaged due to the crash, you need to seek compensation for it.
Be sure to browse our website for more articles on car accidents, as well as many other helpful topics.