In the minutes, hours, and days after a car accident, your mind will be whirling with memories and “what-ifs” as well as the seemingly endless to-do list related to your medical needs, financial considerations, and legal case.
While calling 911 and checking your car for damage might come to mind easily, other important steps to take after a collision are not as straightforward.
Below, we’ve compiled a list of important steps to take both at the scene of the accident and in the days afterward. You may even want to bookmark this list or print it out and keep it in your vehicle in case the unexpected does happen and you find yourself involved in a crash.
At the Scene of the Collision
1. Ensure everyone’s immediate safety if you can. Move any vehicles that can be moved to the side of the roadway. Otherwise, use cones, flares, and/or other indicators to draw attention to vehicles that are stuck in the road. If you’re waiting for help in an immobile vehicle, make sure to keep your seat belt buckled and turn on your hazards.
2. Call 911 to bring emergency personnel and police to the scene. Even if there are no obvious injuries, it’s important to notify the police of the accident. Getting a police report on file is a crucial step after a car accident.
3. Exchange essential information with other drivers, including names, addresses, phone numbers, insurance information, driver’s license numbers, and license plates. You should avoid discussing the details of what happened, however. Take special care to avoid statements that could be interpreted as admitting fault for the accident or speculating about who is at fault.
4. Document the circumstances of the accident and conditions at the scene by writing down details and taking pictures with your cell phone or a camera. If any witnesses are present, ask for their essential contact information.
5. If you don’t require emergency medical treatment, make a doctor’s appointment right away if you have any injuries, even minor ones. There may be underlying medical issues that need to be addressed, and you should receive prompt medical treatment for any In many cases, the full extent of your injuries may not show up until later in the day or even the next day. A lot of people try to “tough it out,” but this may make things worse. Your health is your number one priority and you should address it sooner rather than later.
As a secondary concern, if someone else was at fault for the wreck, you may be entitled to compensation for your medical bills, lost wages, and pain and suffering, but you need a prompt medical evaluation to relate the injuries to the wreck.
In the Days After Your Car Wreck
Obviously, there’s a lot to deal with after a wreck, even after you’ve taken the above steps. The next important move is to contact an experienced personal injury attorney for a free consultation about your case. Your attorney can give you an honest evaluation of your legal case and inform you about your options at no risk to you, and after you hire them, they can investigate your case and keep track of all the complex details that are involved in a personal injury lawsuit. They will also deal with the insurance companies for you, which can remove an enormous source of stress and allow you to focus on your physical and mental recovery.
During this time, you should also pay close attention to your body and any injuries or symptoms you experience, making sure to report everything to your physician. Not all symptoms show up right away after a car accident; complications that appear or get worse over time can include pain, dizziness, and numbness. For both medical and legal reasons, it’s critical to see a doctor anytime you’re experiencing anything out of the ordinary with your health in the days and weeks after a car crash.
Myers Law Firm: Here When You Need Us Most
The experienced personal injury attorneys at Myers Law Firm are committed to helping injury victims in the wake of traffic accidents and whenever our advice and advocacy are needed. If you or someone you love has been injured in a motor vehicle accident, please contact our offices to set up a free, no-risk consultation and learn about your legal options. To get in touch with us right away, complete the contact form on our website, or call 888-376-2889.